Unfortunately, divorce is a common aspect of today’s society. Every day, people file for divorce at their local courthouse but why? Why do people divorce? Can it be avoided? There is an overwhelming amount of research on why people file for divorce and the divorce lawyers located in Scottsdale have seen many of those reasons.
How Common Is Divorce
We have all heard that the divorce rate in the United States is 50% and this word of mouth statics appears generally to be true. According to the American Psychological Association, “about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher.” According to the CDC, in 2017 the divorce rate was 2.9 per 1,000 total population. Arizona actually rates slightly higher than the national rate. According to the CDC, in 2017 the divorce rate was 3.5 per 1,000 total population residing in the area.
Why is Divorce So Common in Today’s Society
In my opinion, one reason that divorce is so common is exactly that, divorce is so common. Divorce no longer carries the stigma that is used to. You likely know plenty of people that have had at least one divorce or you yourself may be a child of divorce. It’s almost the “everyone does it” mentality that makes it this “popular thing.” You see it daily in the news and it is present in most TV shows and movies.
I do not like referring to divorce as a “popular” thing to do because it almost diminishes its impact on people and families and makes divorce sound trendy. That is not how I perceive divorce. Divorce obviously has a significant impact on spouses, the children, and their extended families. However, divorce is not always a bad thing and, if approached properly, the impact of families can be reduced. Also, see Starting a Divorce Not a War – Amicable Divorce for additional information on how to properly approach divorce.
Historically, it was more difficult to obtain a divorce both from a legal standpoint as well as divorce carried a significant social stigma. People were then essentially stuck in unhealthy relationships regardless of their own personal happiness. Being in an unhealthy relationship is no way to live, if someone finds themselves wanting to get out of the relationship, they should have the ability to do so.
Why Do People Divorce
There is plenty of research on the internet about why people divorce. According to an article on HuffPost, in a survey conducted by the author, “communication problems came out on top as the number one reason marriages fail.” The article further identifies other reasons why people file for divorce such as:
- getting in for the wrong reasons
- lack of individual identity
- becoming lost in roles
- not having a shared vision of success
- the intimacy disappears
- unmet expectations
- being out of touch
- different priorities and interests
- inability to resolve conflicts
In my practice, I have seen many people choose to divorce for the reasons identified in the article. Many people list several of the above reasons for why they divorce as where a complaint arises in one area, it often causes issues in another. In our practice, there are a couple of other reasons not identified in the article that I believe are worth mentioning.
Perhaps the most egregious reason people divorce is one spouse is the victim of abuse in one form or another. Abuse can mean domestic violence occurred during the relationship or substance abuse. Our office represents many clients of domestic violence. Domestic violence goes beyond bruises and broken bones. Many victims of domestic violence do not experience, at least at first, physical violence from their spouse. Often, it starts with some form of control over the spouse such as financial control or control over who the spouse spends time with.
Perpetrators of domestic violence often hold the purse strings and limit the other spouse’s access to financial resources. Perpetrators of domestic violence also commonly control who the other spouse has access to or spends time with. They will limit the spouses time with their families or friends. Domestic violence, no matter the form it takes, is unacceptable and victims need a way out. Divorce provides one way out for the victim.
Although getting out of the relationship is often easier said than done. If you are the victim of domestic violence, consult with an experienced attorney that is aware of the challenges victims face when leaving the relationship. At Burggraff Tash Levy, we are experienced in representing victims of domestic violence. If you are in this situation, contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Substance abuse is another reason people seek divorce. Commonly, substance abuse is not present or known at the beginning of the relationship, but gets worse over time. A spouse who suffers from substance dependency issues can jeopardize the couple’s financial resources as well as the safety of the children.
Once the substance abuse is discovered, some people file for divorce immediately. Other people do not file for divorce right away and instead attempt to work through the problem with their spouse. Appropriate treatment is often successful, and people have no need to file for divorce. But, when treatment is unsuccessful, eventually people get tired of the emotional strain associated with having a spouse who has a dependency issue. When they reach their limit on the stress they can take, they often choose to file for divorce.
Going With the Flow
Sometimes, people find themselves married because that is what they were “supposed” to do. I see this “it was what I was supposed to do” mentality often in today’s society. You grow up, you find a significant other, you go to college, you get married. In today’s society, this is what people are expected to do as they grow up. Unfortunately, sometimes it leads to people getting into marriages without really realizing what exactly marriage entails and the challenges associated with marriage.
When people first start dating and falling in love, there is a state of euphoria. Sometimes people get married in this phase of their relationship before they really learn about the other person. I see this often with younger people as well as people who are on their second or third marriages. People are in love and want to solidify their relationship.
Sometimes these impulsive marriages work out and sometimes they don’t. When they do not work out, typically people learn things about their spouse that they do not like or find that their personalities do not actually work well together which is why they file for divorce. Fortunately, these marriages are usually of short duration and less complicated to dissolve as there are not usually significant debts or assets to divide. In some cases, an annulment may even be appropriate if they can meet the requirements under the law.
Filing for Divorce in Arizona
For whatever reason you are considering divorce, it is important to have a clear understanding of the process and how to best approach the situation. At Burggraff Tash Levy, we focus our practice on family law. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a BTL family law attorney and learn how to approach the divorce properly. If your case involves child support or child custody, reach out to our team of Scottsdale child custody lawyers for help.