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Reason for Divorce in 2020? My Top 7!

Reason for Divorce in 2020? My Top 7!

Top (7) Reasons for Divorce in 2020?

In my practice as a divorce lawyer for over (20) years,  I have handled more than 3,000 cases. I have consulted with far more people than I have actually represented.  Everyone brings me a unique story – the reason for divorce.  Many potential divorce clients are hesitant to talk about the failure of the marriage.  others cannot wait to tell me every detail of the affair, drug use or ruinous financial decision made by their spouse.  I need to know the reason for the divorce as they shape how people will approach exchanging information. The reasons for the divorce, can be leveraged to assist in achieving a satisfactory settlement.


Some are eager to tell me how hard it is. Others find the divorce and the reasons for the divorce completely liberating. The hard truth is that the reason for divorce have little impact on the divorce case. 


Is there a real Reason for Divorce?

Reason for Divorce #1. Start with Sexual Affairs.


So many clients tell me that their spouse had an affair. Some tell me their spouse has had many Affairs. Even during post divorce litigation, clients will tell me about Affairs their spouse had 15 years before. People always ask me how many marriages break up because of Affairs. I tell them none. 


Infidelity or an affair is a symptom not a cause. An affair can be a slip that happened at the office holiday party or an ongoing side relationship.  For the spouse that was cheated on, the circumstances of the affair tend to make a big difference in the impact on the marriage.


Who the spouse cheats with can be most devastating. I have had clients where the  cheater slept with the sibling of my client –  devastating. I have had numerous cases where a heterosexual married couple has what seems to be a successful marriage.  They have all of the trappings of marriage that is a house, cars, savings, children etc. Suddenly, one spouse begins to disappear and turns out to be having a same-sex affair. These scenarios  always blow up emotionally.


I say that extramarital sex is not the real reason for divorce. The spouse that cheats, may be unhappy or yearning for something out of life. The cheater may want to run away from the marriage. An affair is the easiest way out. Have an affair, get caught. That is a way of communicating with your spouse. Most affairs or about other hardships in the marriage or in the mind of the cheater.

Reason #2. Affairs of the Heart

Affairs do not need sex.  I distinguish affairs with sex from affairs  of the Heart by lack of physical contact. So many clients come to me and tell me that the spouse is spending the whole night texting and laughing and hiding. It is obvious that there is something going on with another person or people. 


The texting spouse believes it is all acceptable as it is not sexual contact. No sex equals no affair.  For the spouse watching mad texting, night after night, it can be even worse than an actual Affair. Very few clients have ever “seen” their spouse having sex with someone else. But incessant patterns of secret texting are visible and can cause just as much pain.

Reason #3. Drugs.

Early in my career the impact of alcohol on marriages was through the roof. Over the years,  alcohol has been matched and surpassed by drugs. These are not street drugs. The consumption of prescription pills ruins people and relationships. I remember vividly the day that my client gave me a medicine list. Got to work looking up the utility of these drugs.  Two of the drugs were painkillers. He took a muscle relaxer. One drug was a mood enhancer. Another was an antidepressant and two others were consumed in order to allow him to take all of the other drugs. He had been taking pain medication for nine years and it had ruined his inners and was poised to ruin his brain.


His spouse had been stealing his pills and feeding her own addiction. Taking prescription drugs is perfectly legal. Getting addicted and letting drugs run your life  inevitably destroys your marriage.

Reason #4. Alcohol.

Another legal drug is alcohol. Indeed most weddings are alcohol consumption feasts. There are drinks in the limousine and toasts with alcohol at the reception.  Destination weddings and honeymoons occur at all inclusive, alcohol included, resorts. 


Alcohol addiction ruins marriage over time. The drinker just gets worse and worse. Driving while intoxicated convictions impair the ability to work and be productive.  Many drinkers are the nicest people on earth until they drink.  So many domestic violence complaints arise out of alcohol induced events.


Alcohol is trickier than drugs. The non alcoholic spouse may very well have one or two drinks every night. Social drinking is a staple of American life. Indeed, when the country shut down during the coronavirus pandemic liquor stores were certainly deemed essential.  But, where consumption and bad behavior align, that is when marriages end.

Reason #5. Money problems – Spending & Debt.

Access to easy credit allows debt to pile up quickly.  Online billpay means the bills do not pile up on the desk or show up in the mailbox. It is pretty easy to slip into financial hardship during a marriage. Typically, one spouse is in charge of the bills. If that spouse gets behind on bills it may be difficult to admit it.


Some people soothe  stress by shopping therapy.  All of the sudden there are (15) leather jackets and (100) pairs of shoes in the house. Online ordering is just a click away. 

Reason #6. Money Problems – Going All-in.

Different from overspending on consumer goods is the spouse with delusions of grandeur.  so many times people will have a comfortable life and want to take a swing for the fences. This can mean opening a business by liquidating all assets including retirement accounts. Some will go overboard for a dream home combining liquidating everything and taking on a huge mortgage debt.


A fragile marriage combined with risky big financial bets often result in the end of the marriage and a bigger financial disaster.


Divorce and Finances – Toms River Divorce Lawyer

Reason #7. Communication.

 marriages are about communication. When one spouse feels that the other has shot them out, communication erodes. Communication problems can mean silence. Communication problems can mean expressions of anger. so many marital communication problems or truly mindset problems.


You want to communicate and you want your spouse to be a welcoming ear. Machine-gunning information to your spouse great at the end of a hectic work day may result in the cold shoulder.


 Your spouse may be bottled up and need to tell you something. Two people talking at once means no one is listening.


Lack of physical and sexual intimacy is primarily a communication problem. Those obvious inviting cues that once brought you together may not be so obvious in the throes of working, paying bills and raising children. After a while, a lack of sexual intimacy leads to bitterness and drives you and your spouse further away. a lack of intimacy starts with the lack of communication.


In fact, all of the difficulties I addressed above can be typed in a cloak of communication problems. Small money problems become enormous problems due to a lack of communication.  drug and alcohol misuse can be solved with mutual support and communication.


Marriages will end.  even when both spouses tell me the marriage is over,  I still want them to figure out a way to communicate and that can include going to counseling and figuring out a way to communicate through the divorce process and enjoy your big future. 


Other resources – 10 Most Common Reasons for Divorce