What are the most common reasons for divorce in the UK? - Family Law Partners

What are the most common reasons for divorce in the UK?

You are Here:

Many individuals may feel alone when considering if divorce is the route they see their marriage heading in. However, a large majority of divorces occur for the same reasons albeit in different circumstances. The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 came into force on 6 April 2022, which made amendments to the process to obtain a divorce.  Before so-called ‘No fault divorce’ came into effect, people had to state one of five grounds for divorce, however this is no longer the case. Despite no longer being required legally to give a reason for divorce, more often than not there is often a catalyst for a divorce and this blog sets out the most common reasons for couples divorcing in the UK.

  1. Drifted Apart

One of the most common reasons for couples deciding to divorce, is that they just drift apart. Drifting apart can happen at some point in everyone’s lives whether it be with family or friends. Individuals change over time; they may grow out of certain activities and interests and sometimes this results in couples no longer being compatible. It is quite often at key points in people’s lives that this issue becomes known, such as when children move out. For some couples, this may give them time to reconnect and concentrate on each other. However, sometimes the ordinary hustle and bustle of family life is no longer masking issues and couples realise that they no longer want to remain together.

  1. Lack of compatibility

Most movies and TV shows romanticise the idea of “opposites attract,” however in the day-to-day world sometimes this may not be ideal. Issues or differences that were overlooked in the beginning of the relationship become more obvious and this can result in people being married to someone who does not fulfil their needs.

  1. Money Issues

Money problems are one of the main reasons why most marriages break down. They can be a strain on a marriage, from being in debt to living pay check to pay check. Especially, with the recent cost of living crisis, a lot of couples are struggling to cover the bills. When money is tight, it increases stress levels which in turn can drive some couples to argue. Arguments about money can become vindictive and if the couple lacks communication, then issues cannot be resolved by working together to rectify the financial situation. Sometimes, it is not necessarily money troubles as such that push marriages to fall apart, it is when couples have different views on their finances. If one person is inclined to invest or save a lot of their money whereas the other person is more likely to spend, this can cause arguments and tension leading to a lack of compatibility.

  1. Infidelity

Unfaithfulness/infidelity can be a leading factor as to why divorce occurs. Prior to the recent reform on 6 April 2022, a divorce application needed to state the grounds for divorce from five reasons, one of which was Adultery. According to statistics, adultery used to be the second most cited ground for divorce and remains a strong cause of divorce today. A marriage is a promise to love and be faithful to your partner for your lifetime, therefore when infidelity occurs it breaks the trust in the marriage and quite often leads to wanting a divorce.

  1. Poor Communication

Communication is a key aspect of a healthy and fulfilling relationship. It allows you to discuss issues you are experiencing and to take a load off your shoulders. Therefore, if couples find that they do not have any clear lines of communication, it may be cause for concern. Poor communication could range from constant arguing to sweeping things under the rug to avoid difficult conversations. It can make people feel incompatible, neglected, bitter and resentful of their partner. When couples fail to communicate honestly about their feelings, issues and desires, the marriage most likely breaks down over time.

  1. Abuse

Abuse can take a variety of forms, including:

  • Domestic violence
  • Emotional abuse
  • Coercive control
  • Financial abuse
  • Psychological abuse

Many people endure abuse in a marriage hoping that the other person may change their ways. However, long-term abuse can cause trauma, leaving the survivor feeling isolated, and scared with divorce feeling like their safest option. Divorce may allow the survivor to regain control and no longer live in fear. If you a survivor of abuse, you might also be able to apply to the family court for an injunction. It is important to seek legal advice about your individual circumstances from a firm who understands your situation and can deliver an empathic service, helping you to navigate a safe and effective way out.

  1. Addictions

Addictions can cause pressures and tensions within any relationship. Whether it be an alcohol or gambling addiction or something else. Addictions damage trust in a marriage, as the addicted partner may lie, distract or hide whatever it is they are addicted to. It may lead to financial ramifications, behavioural changes, or family instability. Partners of people with addiction, may have to take on more responsibility which quite often can lead to resentment. A lot of people who suffer from addiction prioritise their addiction over their partner or family, this can lead to relationships becoming difficult. Addiction can often lead to emotional turmoil, which can make a marriage incredibly difficult.

How can we help

If you have decided that your marriage has irretrievably broken down and you are applying for divorce, it is advisable to seek legal advice on the process. Our specialist family lawyers can help you, please get in touch to arrange a consultation.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

Top of page

You have more choices than you might think

We are committed to advising you of all the options available to you, and (unlike other family lawyers) will support you with solutions that avoid the traditional court process.

Get in touch