May 3, 2023
“If you want to be a multi-millionaire, stay married.”
~Paul Nelson, Esq.
Why Do People Get Divorced?
Why do people get divorced? Nineteenth century Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy famously wrote, “All happy families are like; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” However, this is not true when it comes to divorce. Our friends at Nelson | Kirkman will tell you that, for the most part, the reasons couples split tend to be quite standard.
- Money problems
- Extramarital affairs
- Conflict over family responsibilities
- Substance abuse/alcoholism
- Physical/emotional abuse
- Lack of emotional/physical intimacy
- Lack of commitment/restlessness
- Diverging interests and ambitions
We’ve all heard opposites attract. To a large extent, this is true. There’s something exciting about the foreign and exotic. Differences have been the basis for initial attraction and infatuation since the dawn of time. Like the Yin and Yang, stark differences can complement the other.
But it’s when differences become the basis for marriage trouble often starts. Over time those qualities that once attracted you to your partner can repel you. What most people want are others who mirror themselves. Partners who aren’t exact duplicates, yet similar enough in most ways as to be recognizable. People who share an affinity for the same foods. The same sports. (Or who don’t like sports at all.) Who watches the same kinds of movies and TV shows. Who enjoy the same recreational activities. Who share a similar sense of humor.
Likewise, if the differences between partners are fundamental, resentment can build, creating pressure until finally it all explodes.
- You want to live in the city and your partner likes the country.
- You dig parties and your partner likes to stay home and read.
- You like to spend money freely and your partner watches every penny.
- You desire children and your partner does not.
These kinds of differences can breed resentment. Over time, bitterness can set in, morphing into anger, even hatred. There may come a point when neither of you wants to look at the other, much less share the same bed.
That’s when divorce happens.
But wait… Are you sure? Are you really, really sure? Because when you commit to a divorce, you’re stepping onto the express elevator to Hell. I’m talking about a world of pain.
First, there will be financial pain. Yes, filing for a divorce only costs a few hundred dollars, but any couple with assets—a home, vehicles, investments— will need legal representation. And divorce lawyers aren’t cheap. Also, the more assets you have, the more expensive they become. In California, where the cost of divorce is 37% higher than the national average, the price of a simple, uncontested divorce currently averages $30,000 for couples without children, and $50,000 for couples with children.
If the divorce is contested, the price tag can balloon into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. And that’s if you’re lucky. If you’re considering filing for separation, reach out to a divorce lawyer to discuss the best steps for you.