What is the number one cause of divorce?
As a divorce attorney in practice for almost 20 years, I have a unique perspective in answering the question as I have asked virtually every client I have represented why they are getting divorced. In fact, under Michigan divorce law, the answer to the question can have important consequences in property division, a spousal support award and even child custody.
Ask your friends or family what the number one cause of divorce is and you will likely hear that cheating, financial issues and growing apart as answers. While cheating, financial issues and growing apart are valid reasons to divorce experience has taught me that it is not the number one cause of divorce.
Many relationships survive infidelity without divorce. In hard financial times, the divorce rate declines and increases in good financial times. Money really can buy freedom (and certainly a divorce). Many relationships wax and wane over time and a divorce brings finality to growing apart, but it is not the number one cause of divorce. So what is? The internet provides an abundance of answers, all of which are wrong.
- The Huffington Post reports that the number one cause of divorce is resentment. “I think when people feel resentment, they can act out in several ways: Cheating, Drugs or Alcohol . . .” writes Jackie Pilossoph.
- Divorce Support reports that the major cause of divorce is laziness, declaring: “People simply don’t want to work at marriage.”
- Power of Two reports that infidelity is the number one cause of divorce stating: “It can feel like the end of the world if your spouse cheats on you.” They even offer a Relationship Quiz.
- Your Tango reports that the number one cause of divorce is getting married for the wrong reason like marrying for money.
- Relationship expert and blogger Kevin Thomson declares that “a lack of intentional investment in their marriage” is the number one cause of divorce.
The real number one cause of divorce is untreated emotional and mental health issues.
Most people get divorced to find happiness. Either by getting out of an unhealthy situation or thinking that the grass is greener on the other side. Emotional and mental health issues can manifest themselves in a number of ways such as:
- I got married for the wrong reason because it was easier than dealing with the pain from my childhood.
- My spouse is cheating to cope with something.
- My spouse is an alcoholic (or a drug addict) and refuses to address the problem.
- My spouse is bi-polar and refuses to take medicine.
While not every divorce can be traced to emotional and mental health, I am convinced that the key to a successful marriage is maintaining good emotional and mental health.
In many situations, the best treatment for an emotional or mental health issue is to get out of the situation. Divorce can provide the freedom to heal.
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I have been exclusively practicing divorce and family law in Michigan for over two decades. The attorneys at Findling Law all share the core value of practicing law to help people navigate change in their lives, without compromising principles. We specialize in high socio-economic, high-profile and high-conflict cases, while also working with clients of all backgrounds. We recognize that the most important aspect of the practice of law is the application of the law to your specific circumstances.
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By: Daniel Findling