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IL family lawyerGetting married and starting a family is ingrained in Western cultures, especially in the United States. By the age of 50, 90 percent of people have been married at least once. Due to the high percentage of individuals who decide to get married, there is also a large divorce rate. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, divorce rates are not as high as many think. 3.2 people out of every 1000 individuals go through divorce. Divorce rates may be decreasing; however, they will never become obsolete. Continue reading to learn different ways to avoid divorce whether you are on the path to your wedding or have already said “I do."

Avoiding Divorce

Love Is Not Ageless: Studies have repeatedly shown that getting married as a teenager is extremely risky. This is not only due to the lack of relationship experience but also the lack of financial security. Money problems can bring even the best relationships under extreme duress. After a certain point, divorce rates begin to increase as age does. Statistics show that the best age window to tie the knot is between 28 and 32.

Power Dynamics: One of the most important aspects of any relationships is equality. No one wants to feel like they have zero control over their romantic life. This sense of power can be in terms of finances, decision making, and many other aspects of a relationship. It is crucial to find a balance to maintain an equal power dynamic between you and your partner.

Communication Is Key: This is a pretty universal piece of advice that often gets lost in translation. It is easy to respond to your partner’s rude comment with an equally insulting one. Instead of nitpicking each other and creating a cycle of bad attitudes, it is better to be upfront with your partner about your feelings and emotions.

Change Is Not Always for the Better: Studies have shown that opposites attract meaning that a person’s unique qualities are what draws you in. However, once the “newness” of a relationship wears off, many of these quirks begin to lose their luster. One must remember that trying to “change” your partner is a recipe for disaster. You may spend most of your time together but this does not mean that you should begin to become each other.

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Posted on in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerEvery marriage has its ups and downs. Communication differences, differences in life goals and lifestyle needs, infidelity, addiction, and financial distress can all challenge a couple to the point of making them consider divorce. In many of these cases, the couple does divorce. In others, the couple chooses to remain together, sometimes in a miserable relationship and in other cases, happily and successfully after making an effort to resolve the conflicts that drove them apart.

Couples who successfully recover from marital distress do so by employing effective conflict resolution strategies. The most effective way for you and your spouse to learn more about these strategies and how to employ them in your life is to work with an experienced marital counselor.

Actions that Will Not Fix Your Marriage

Some couples attempt to fix their marriages with significant life changes like moving to a new state or having a baby. In most cases, these are not effective ways to resolve marital difficulties because they do not address the couple’s existing conflicts, they only mask them. Additionally, certain life-changing actions like having a new baby only increase a couple’s stress level, pushing their marriage closer to divorce instead of strengthening it.

Actions that Can Fix Your Marriage

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Illinois divorce lawyerIn a healthy relationship, both parties can manage their own emotional and personal needs. In a codependent relationship, one or both partners cannot do this for themselves, so they rely on each other to manage all their personal needs. Do not confuse emotionally supporting a spouse with codependency – in a healthy marriage, both partners should be expected to be there for each other. Codependency goes beyond this level of emotional support. Codependency describes a relationship where one partner sacrifices his or her own needs to fulfill the other’s, causing him or her to suffer from the difficulties that come with poor coping mechanisms like internalized shame, people-pleasing behavior, and perfectionism to the point of fearing failure. A codependent relationship is not healthy for either party or if they have children, the children. Often, divorce is an important step toward recovering from codependency.

Recognizing Codependency in Your Marriage

Often, a codependent spouse is known as an enabler. The term “codependency” first arose to describe spouses of alcoholics, because often, they would exhibit this type of behavior and enable their spouses to continue to drink dangerously. Individuals in abusive relationships and relationships with addicts also frequently exhibit codependent behavior.

Codependency symptoms can be seen in the spouse who is not addictive or abusive. It is the enabler who suffers these symptoms, which include:

  • Low self-esteem;
  • Reactivity;
  • Little to no respect for others’ boundaries;
  • Internalized shame;
  • Learned helplessness;
  • Difficulty with communication;
  • A need to control others and situations; and
  • Denial that there is anything unhealthy about their relationship.

Preparing for Your Divorce

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Illinois divorce lawyerIt is not always easy to recognize when your marriage has reached a point that divorce is necessary. We become accustomed to certain patterns and over time, can become so used to a certain lifestyle that we cannot see that it is toxic.

Take a step back and look objectively at your marriage. Every marriage has rough patches, but when a rough patch becomes a permanent way of life, it might be time to exit the marriage. If you are not sure if your marriage is a healthy one, discuss it with an experienced mental health care professional to get deeper insight into the difficulties you are facing and possible solutions. You might be able to change your lifestyle to rebuild your marriage, or you might find that divorce is the healthiest choice for everybody in your household. If one or more of the following is true, divorce might be the way to go.

You Cannot Resolve Conflicts in a Healthy Way

If all your attempts to resolve conflicts in a productive way end in screaming matches, slammed doors, and hurt feelings, you are not communicating in a healthy way.

A strong marriage requires clear communication between the partners. Communication skills can be learned, but like learning any other skill, it takes practice. Both partners need to be willing to practice healthy communication skills and hold themselves accountable for their mistakes.

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Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce lawyerAs a parent, there is a lot of pressure on you to keep any “negative” thoughts about parenthood to yourself. But the truth is, raising children is hard. This is backed up by statistics: in any marriage, the couple’s satisfaction in the marriage declines during its first few years. For couples with children, this decline is twice as steep as the decline childless couples face.

This does not mean you should forgo parenthood. What it means is that having children can put an immense pressure on your marriage and if you are not proactive about anticipating child-related conflicts and resolving them in a healthy manner, this pressure can push you to divorce.

Children and Divorce Statistics

There are many different factors that can impact a couple’s likelihood of divorcing. Some of these factors have to do with the couple’s children and their positions on raising children:

  • Having daughters increases a couple’s chance of divorcing while having sons reduces it. Unmarried couples who have a son are more likely to marry than unmarried couples who have a daughter, and when a couple has two daughters, their likelihood of divorcing is 43.1 percent versus 36.9 percent if they have two sons;
  • When a woman wants a child more strongly than her spouse wants a child, the marriage is twice as likely to end in divorce as a marriage where the couple wanted children equally; and
  • Parents of children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are 22.7 percent more likely to divorce by their child’s eighth birthday than parents of children without ADHD.

Overcoming Child-Related Conflicts in Your Marriage

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Posted on in Divorce

Ililnios divorce lawyerCertain jobs and career paths are correlated with a higher rate of divorce than others. These are not necessarily the most physically stressful jobs like construction, nor are they jobs that tend to keep individuals away from home for prolonged periods of time, like the military. Many of the jobs cited as having a high divorce rate are jobs that are mentally exhausting and put employees into positions where they are in close physical contact with others, either clients or colleagues.

There are many factors that increase or decrease a couple’s likelihood of divorcing. Each partner’s career is only one of these factors. The couple’s education and income levels, whether they have children, how old they were when they married, and the income disparity between the partners are also indicators of whether a marriage will end in divorce.

Which Careers have the Highest Divorce Rates?

The following five careers are statistically the top five for divorces:

  • Dancers and choreographers;
  • Bartenders;
  • Massage therapists;
  • Gaming cage workers, the employees who handle financial transactions in casinos; and
  • Extruding machine operators, the workers who perform repetitive tasks on assembly lines.

Other careers linked to high divorce rates include professional athletes, switchboard operators, and individuals who work as nurses and home health aids.

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Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce lawyerFew couples head straight for divorce when their marriages become difficult. Instead, many try to work out their difficulties and rebuild their marriages into healthy relationships. Couples have different reasons for wanting to remain married. Some want to raise their children in an intact family, others are uncomfortable with change or worry about the financial burden of a divorce, and many still do love their spouses and do not want to end their marriages.

There are effective and ineffective ways to fix a marriage. Below are a few strategies that many couples think will work, but nearly always backfire and accelerate the end of the relationship.

Moving

Some couples move to new cities and states as a way to save their marriages because they feel it will be a fresh start for their relationship. But in many of these cases, the couple simply brings the issues they had in their old home to their new one, and old patterns rear up again and drive them apart. Moving to a new place can make a marriage stronger, but only when the move is an active, affirmative choice made by both partners. When it is an attempt to move away from old difficulties, those difficulties have a way of finding the couple again.

Minimizing Conflict

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Illinois divorce lawyerWhen a couple cannot stand to be around each other, they are often advised to file for divorce. But a divorce is not feasible in all cases. When there is a barrier to a couple divorcing, whether that barrier is their cultural or religious beliefs about marriage, their financial situation, or just their own perspective of the marriage and the prospect of ending it, legal separation can be a useful way to detach from each other without actually ending the marriage. Some legally separated couples do go on to divorce while others remain content living singly while legally separated. Still, others use their separation as a time to reflect on their marriage, repair the issues that drove them apart and find ways to be a successful couple.

Below are four common reasons why Illinois couples choose legal separation.

Your Religion Prohibits Divorce

Many religions prohibit divorce. Sometimes, individuals’ personal convictions make divorce an unattractive, or even unacceptable, option. For individuals whose religious or philosophical beliefs make divorce a taboo subject, legal separation can be a way to exit an unhealthy marriage without actually violating these beliefs.

You Are Not Sure if You are Ready for a Divorce

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Illinois divorce attorneyDivorces occur between all types of couples for a variety of reasons. Just like no two couples and no two marriages are alike, every divorce is unique in its own way. But this does not mean that there are not measurable patterns and statistics that can help us learn more about which types of couples are most likely to divorce and why couples choose to end their marriages. Data from many different studies can tell us quite a bit about who is most likely to file for divorce and why.

According to a 2015 study of 2,262 adults in heterosexual marriages, women initiate approximately 70 percent of divorces. The most common reason for divorce is dissatisfaction with one’s marriage, which women are more likely than men to experience and take action to address by filing for divorce. This is not a new phenomenon. Women have been more likely than men to file for divorce since the 1940s.

Married Women Report Lower Levels of Marital Happiness than Married Men

The study reported that married women are more likely than their male counterparts to rate their relationship quality as “low.” Interestingly, breakups between non-married couples are initiated almost equally between men and women, so this is not the case of women simply being more likely to become dissatisfied in their relationships and choose to end them. Rather, there are specific demands that come with marriage that weigh more heavily on women, pushing them to seek divorce at greater rates than men.

Marital Dissatisfaction Largely Comes from an Unequal Division of Household Labor and Gender Expectations

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Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois family law attorneyNo matter the circumstances, ending a marriage can be a heart-wrenching experience. Knowing when to call to quits is especially difficult, especially when you have invested a significant amount of time with your spouse. Some couples pull the plug at the first sign of serious trouble, while others may wait months, or even years, for the warning signs to appear. Even after those warning signs begin to surface, however, many couples have trouble letting go.

Knowing When Enough Is Enough

The key to deciphering if enough is enough begins with asking yourself if the bad has begun to outweigh the good in your marriage. This can be hard to figure out, especially when there is a plethora of good memories hidden between the clumps of bad times that continue to pile up. Ultimately, though, divorce experts believe one of the most glaring tell-tale signs that a marriage is in trouble is when the good times slowly become fewer and farther between. Taking it a step further, ask yourself if you have recently made any of the following observations about your marriage:

1. You can (and often do) envision life without your spouse - One big warning sign that your marriage is on the rocks is if you can clearly see, and often envision, what your life would look like if you were single, living without your spouse. Not only does it indicate that you are unhappy with your current relationship, it also highlights the fact that the intimacy you once shared with your spouse - including the sharing of feelings, thoughts, and desires - has dissipated. A lack in these areas naturally leads to distance, and distance is not necessarily always a good thing.

2. You feel your spouse has checked out - Many people who go through a divorce or are about to commonly report that they feel completely alone in the relationship, especially when it comes to whatever conflicts they are facing. If you feel an intense lack of support or feel your spouse has been absent in general, there is a good chance your marriage may be on the rocks. The old adage rings true: It takes two to make things work. If you are the only one working to solve the problems and repair your marriage, you may be fighting a losing battle.

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Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorneyThe American Psychological Association (APA) tells us that in the United States alone, more than 90 percent of people marry by the age of 50, but that 40 to 50 percent of couples end up divorcing. When it comes to subsequent marriages, the APA says the divorce rates are even higher, which tells us that although people continue to get married, certain troubles still tend to strain relationships and in many cases, inevitably cause marital demise.

Factors that Lead to Separation

While the causes for divorce are vast and diverse, there are certain trends in relationships that often result in separation, and ultimately, divorce. These trends all share common themes: Each one involves the breakdown of communication, intimacy, and trust. When combined, these factors turn into core conflicts and often result in the disintegration of a marriage. Among the many reasons for divorce, here are four of the most common:

1.Money management - Whether you have money troubles or not, the difference in how you and your spouse handle money can play a big role in your marital satisfaction. Many marriages end due to financial problems, and those problems do not necessarily always involve debt. For example, if you save a large portion of your income while your partner overspends, of if there is a significant difference in salaries, rifts can emerge that stem from tension and resentment.

2. Lack of contact - Physical intimacy, affection, and mere communication through texts and phone calls are all vital components to a successful, satisfying marriage. When there is a lack of intimacy, a decrease in basic expressions of affection, or no effort being made to reach out to one another, this lack of contact can erode the quality of the marriage over time. In some cases, it can cause the relationship to unravel quickly, depending on the other circumstances surrounding the problem.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_money-issues.jpgMultiple studies conducted by various experts, over many decades, have revealed the sad truth that serious financial trouble is an overwhelming predictor for separation and divorce for couples around the globe. The American Psychological Association (APA) reports a number of studies that have proven the stress brought on by financial struggle can cause even the strongest relationships to fall apart, making it crucial for everyone, regardless of their income level or line of work, to address their money management habits early on in a marriage.

Clashing Money Management Styles

Looking at the way you and your spouse spend, save, and budget money before the marriage and in the early stages of your union can make a significant difference in how well your relationship fares over time. This is especially important when you and your spouse experience additional stressors throughout the course of your marriage, adding more pressure to the existing tension. Such issues can increase the number of arguments between you and your spouse, and ultimately affect the longevity of your relationship.

Financial tension between a couple typically begins when each spouse manages money differently, particularly when poor spending habits are present. This can include consistent loans and high revolving lines of credit, or simply a penchant for expensive things that are not affordable, given an individual’s income. When one partner’s monthly debt is higher than the amount they take home each month, these problems eventually rise to the surface during the marriage and continue to be a source of conflict over time.

Preventing Financial Stress from Wreaking Havoc on Your Marriage

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorneyNo one likes to think about the possibility of an impending divorce, especially after spending months or years investing time and energy into a relationship. It is not uncommon for one spouse to feel blindsided by the news that their partner is considering divorce, or to experience shock that there is even a problem to begin with. The reality, though, is the road to divorce often begins long before the final weeks and months of the marriage. There are numerous red flags that can signal the potential end - or the beginning of the end - of a marriage, and it can be easy to dismiss these signs early on if you are not tuned into the root issues.

Paying Attention to the Warning Signs

Whether you are newly married and have been feeling uneasy about your recent partnership or you have been married for years and are beginning to question your marriage’s foundation, if you are sensing something is amiss, it is wise to pay attention to your instincts. Even if things seem to be running smoothly in the moment, those unsettling feelings are often an indicator that trouble is brewing. These warning signs can morph into much larger problems down the road if not acknowledged early on.

Common Red Flags

Distance - Most red flags that signal imminent divorce typically revolve around something that is lacking in the marriage. Distance is a perfect example of this factor. Whether your relationship is lacking physical or emotional intimacy or your spouse is simply not around to share the most basic day-to-day moments that contribute to a life together, any distance, especially when it is a recurring pattern, is a sign that something is wrong.

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Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyerDespite even the greatest efforts, some marriages end in divorce due to deterioration over time while others fade quickly due to inevitable circumstances beyond anyone’s control. Whatever your situation, when it comes time to file for divorce, you will likely come across the term irreconcilable differences, a concept used to describe conflict that is unable to be resolved between two spouses. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, irreconcilable differences are cited as the source for the “irretrievable” breakdown of the marriage. In some states and counties, these differences are also referred to as grounds for divorce.

When the court determines that certain efforts at reconciliation have failed, or that any further attempts at reconciliation in the future are no longer practical or productive, those efforts are no longer considered in the best interest of the family. In short, when both parties have done all they can do to resolve their problems and have reached no compromise or found no solution, their marriage is dissolved due to irreconcilable differences.

Common Conflicts

Everything from disagreements about politics and religion to in-law issues and money troubles can drive a wedge between spouses. What might seem like a minor or petty problem to one couple can actually be a serious problem for another. Here are some conflicts that are often unable to be reconciled in a marriage:

  • Intense Family Involvement: In-laws or extended family that is overly involved in a couple’s affairs can be a big source of tension and can ultimately contribute to the unraveling of a marriage;
  • Lack of Balance Between Home and Work: Too much time at the office and not enough time and home can create division and distance in any relationship. This typically leads to a breakdown in communication and intimacy;
  • Communication Problems: Communication is everything. If it is lacking in any way or one person is putting in more effort to communicate than the other, conflict eventually arises; and
  • Marital Affairs and Other External Relationships: Emotional and physical affairs, whether romantic or friendly in nature, can at times be a threat to a healthy marriage. Trust is lost, communication crumbles, and the marriage suffers.

If you find yourself facing a divorce due to any of these irreconcilable differences or are dealing with some other unique circumstance that has led to the dissolution of marriage, you need to speak with a professional Kane County family law attorney to ensure that your rights and best interest are protected. Call Shaw Family Law, P.C. at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation today.

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