Top 5 Main Causes Of Divorce and Separation in the UK

Divorce simply means the legal termination of a marriage between two adults. For this to happen, the spouses must provide a valid reason that is legally sufficient to end their marriage. However, getting a divorce is not as simple as it might seem. Incompatible couples normally face a number of financial and emotional challenges during the divorce proceedings. 

The process of divorce can take months or even years before it is fully finalised, as per the law of the land, depending on the grounds of divorce and how the estate of the couple is shared. The following is a breakdown of the top five common causes of divorce in the United Kingdom. If you would like to discuss any of the causes below with a specialist in family law, contact Shortlands Solicitors.

1.    Adultery and unfaithfulness 

Adultery ranks at the top of the list for obvious reasons as nobody can stand a cheating spouse. It is the most prevalent ground for divorce in the UK, with about 55 percent of all the divorce cases having been brought about by unfaithfulness between couples. However, while it is a very valid ground for divorce, if a spouse fails to file for divorce within six months after the discovery of their spouse’s acts of adultery, the motive of divorce ceases to be valid.

2.    Constant Arguments

Arguing excessively is highly injurious to any marriage. It is normally brought about by lack of appreciation or understanding. Constant arguments among couples may not be enough reason to legally file for divorce; but, they are always likely to trigger other more grave issues. For instance, couples who are unhappy because they are ever arguing and never get along well will be more exposed to the possibility of committing adultery and engaging in other unreasonable behaviours. 

3.    Engaging In Unreasonable Behaviour

Legally, “engaging in unreasonable behaviour” includes indulging in drug abuse, heavy drinking, verbal assault and physical abuse. Any unreasonable behaviour is normally enough legal ground for divorce and commonly quicker to finalise due to the physical and emotional damage it is likely to cause to the victim. Besides, spouses who file for divorce as a result of domestic violence are most of the time eligible for some kind of compensation if there is enough proof of the violence against them. 

4.    Being Ill-Prepared For Marriage

Just like any important decision in life, marriage needs the couple to put a lot of thought and preparation into it. Marriage needs much more than just hot romance and passion. More often than not, many couples will rush into marriage before they prepare themselves emotionally and financially. Some couples imagine that marriage will be a continuous extension of their honeymoon. However, when the rubber meets the road, they begin feeling overwhelmed by the responsibilities that come with real married life. This can be the biggest trigger of heated arguments which lead to general unhappiness and instability in marriage. Such unhappiness and instability will lead to other problems such as adultery.

5.    Inequality

This is also one of the biggest causes of divorce in the UK with more than 44 percent of all divorcees citing inequality as the main contributor to their divorce. This will normally come about when one of the spouses feels that they are shouldering a bigger share of the family burden. This might be in terms of finances or housework load and childcare. However, gender inequality has never been fully eliminated from modern society. For instance, some men might feel that they are overburdened by having to provide everything for their families while some women might feel that they are trapped and no longer enjoy their independence. This might lead to depression and unreasonable behaviour and eventually, enough ground for divorce. 

It is not possible to entirely prevent divorces from happening since some couples become totally incompatible. Also, spouses are bound to go through rough periods from time to time. However, in many cases, discussing problems as they arise, taking time to listen to each other and making some effort to make amends by both spouses can go a long way to avert unnecessary divorces.

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