Chase, Berenstein and Murray, Counselors at Law provides collaborative divorce solutions to clients in San Mateo, San Francisco and Santa Clara counties.

Common Causes of Divorce

When looking at the most common causes of divorce, I find it is often the accumulation of little things that build up. The couple gets busy, and communication breaks down until it finally gets to the point that one or both parties essentially throw their hands in the air and give up working on the marriage.

Here are 4 issues I commonly see that cause couples to head for the divorce process:

1. Lack of communication. It is easy for the couple to get caught up in their work life and in childcare, so that they no longer have time for each other. They work hard at their job, then get home and there is dinner to fix, laundry to do, helping kids with homework, lunches to make, and more.

Little things build up. Something as small as failing to buy kind of milk the spouse asked for can festers because there is no time to talk about it. Or, barbs are thrown out, like “Can’t you remember what brand of milk I asked you to buy?” The spouse feels unheard or disregarded over something so minor, but they do not have time to talk about it. They rush through their evening or weekend “chores” and leave their disagreement unresolved.  These seemingly small infractions then continue to happen and over time this little “pebble in your shoe” compounds and turns into a “bolder in your living room”.

2. Financial Issues. One spouse may view the other one as being irresponsible with the family finances. The spouse might consistently offer to treat groups of friends at dinner when the other spouse knows they cannot afford it. The spending spouse has keeps spending, in spite of being asked not to do so. Or, a spouse may have a dependency, such as a gambling problem or a drug problem, or some other unreasonable spending problem that leaves the couple stretched financially and unable to pay their bills.  This can lead the other spouse to feel that they must leave the marriage to preserve their resources, save for college for their children or for their retirement.

3. Infidelity. It can be difficult for spouses to move past the infidelity of one party. Trust is broken and is difficult to repair unless the couple goes to counseling.

4. Mental health issues. Mental health issues and be difficult in a marriage, particularly if they are not managed. Sometimes mental illness can lead to drug or alcohol addiction or even threats of violence.  If the spouse with mental health issues is unwilling or unable to manage their illness, a spouse may feel the need to end the marriage to protect themselves or their children.

Whatever issues drive the couple apart, if there are children, they need to learn how to positively co-parent their children following their divorce.

Contact us at Chase, Berenstein and Murray, Counselors at Law

For assistance with your divorce, and to discover how you can work with your spouse to have a peaceful divorce without animosity by using Mediation or Collaborative Divorce, contact the team at Chase, Berenstein and Murray, Counselors at Law.