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Ranking common factors that contribute to the end of a marriage

Couples in Texas planning to exchange vows can take comfort in knowing that fewer people are ending their marriages these days. Even so, having a better understanding of the common reasons for divorce may help some married couples avoid potential pitfalls that could doom their relationships. In order to rank divorce-related factors, researchers interviewed couples who parted ways several years after completing a prevention and relationship enhancement program before they were wed.

Roughly 13 percent of respondents questioned cited insufficient premarital education and religious differences as divorce factors. Commenting on premarital education, one former spouse observed that premarital counseling failed to discuss the various phases of marriage that occur over time. As for religion, research suggests that couples in interfaith marriages are generally not as happy as those that share the same faith. Nearly 20 percent of individuals polled believed their marital woes were related to lack of family support or serious health problems that strained their relationships.

Domestic abuse and substance abuse are higher-ranking divorce reasons cited that tend to develop over time and involve troublesome cycles and patterns. Some participants experienced marital stress because of differences with spending habits and money management. More than 40 percent of respondents cited marrying too young as a major issue. Unresolved conflicts and extramarital affairs ranked even higher among the top divorce factors mentioned. However, lack of commitment, which was cited by 75 percent of ex-couples interviewed as a significant factor, was the top reason for divorce.

If the reasons a spouse gives for divorce are issues that may be resolved, a lawyer may suggest couples counseling before legal matters pertaining to the end of a marriage are discussed. If it's determined that divorce is the right step, a lawyer typically helps identify and value marital assets so that a fair division can take place. The ability to work out an acceptable agreement without costly and time-consuming legal battles will depend on factors such as how civil and reasonable a splitting couple can be with one another.

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