What Is Divorce And Why Do People Get Divorced?

Divorce | |
Updated On: December 13, 2023
What is divorce

What is divorce? Most people broadly know the answer to that question, however, not many are aware of what exactly it entails. We’re here to help you figure it out. Divorce is the legal separation of a married couple. By definition, it needs to be finalized by the judgment of a court. Divorce brings with it the legal annulment of a marital union. Apart from the legalities concerned with divorce, there are also a lot of emotions connected with this single word.

Many couples choose to take the path of legal annulment when their marriage becomes hard to sustain. Sometimes a divorce can be filed by mutual consent of both partners. In such a case, the legal proceeding is much smoother.

When a couple cannot agree on the terms of their separation, they have to opt for a contested divorce. In such cases, where there is a battle for child custody, alimony, spousal maintenance and division of assets, things may get prolonged and even messy. Divorce can also be filed in case one of the partners has been subjected to mental or physical abuse.

Normally, when one or both parties are considering filing for divorce, they have a fair idea of what to expect from it. In spite of knowing the consequences, going through a divorce can be quite overwhelming. There is a lot of bitterness, and it might leave both parties feeling exhausted and depressed.

What Does Divorce Mean?

Divorce in the most literal sense of the word is the end of a marriage. But what does divorce mean in the legal sense? A divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage under the rule of law and is processed by a recognized legal body of a state/country.

A divorce means there’s going to be unrest, and if it isn’t a mutual divorce, things are going to get messy. Even the procedure of an uncontested divorce is difficult and taxing, so you should know what you’re getting into before filing for a divorce.

5 Top Reasons Why People Get Divorced

Even the people who fully understand what is divorce and its intricacies tend to wonder about the reasons behind it. What makes someone decide to end a relationship that was probably one of the more significant ones in their lives?

The truth is that there can be numerous causes of divorce today. Every couple who has gotten divorced will have their own specific reasons for getting a divorce. Though the reasons behind ending a marriage are too diverse to be generalized, there are some common relationship problems that play a role in driving married couples apart. Let’s take a look at 5 top reasons why people get divorced:

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1. Infidelity 

This is probably the most common reason for divorce. Infidelity is still one of the top reasons why people file for divorce. Cheating or infidelity can be caused by a number of reasons. These can range from boredom with the rigmarole of married life to varied interests and unequal sexual appetites.

In cases of infidelity, divorce is never easy and cooperation from both parties can be next to impossible. There’s going to be unresolved tension and conflict, and in some cases, things get way out of hand, resulting in blackmails and threats. That’s why when infidelity is the underlying cause, divorce can get nasty.

2. Abuse

Physical, psychological, or emotional abuse are all leading reasons people get divorced today. Gaslighting, manipulation and/or physical violence can eventually lead the victim to seek divorce. Abuse doesn’t only mean physical harm. It can also come in the form of verbal or psychological abuse.

When forced beyond a certain point, the abused partner can choose to walk out of the marital relationship. The victims take months and sometimes even years to muster up the courage to stand up to their abuser and file for a divorce. In these cases, the lawyers have to be sensitive and understand the requirements of the victims.

What does divorce mean
Physical, emotional, or psychological abuse are all leading reasons people get divorced today

3. Growing apart

Even couples who were madly in love at one point can grow apart in marriage. This is often the result of differences in experiences and interests. When the partners’ lives are no longer compatible, they may seek to end the relationship. Incompatibility is also one of the key factors behind infidelity, which in turn can lead to divorce.

Some couples claim they ‘lose the spark’ within a few months of the relationship, and some for years after they have been married. Sometimes, the couple mutually decides that it would be best for them to part ways, move on and explore new relationships.

Related Reading: Marriage Separation Advice: 11 Wise Tips

4. Unhappiness

Sometimes, after marriage, the rose-tinted glasses of love come off, and the couple realizes that love for each other is not enough to keep the marriage working. It may also happen that either partner realizes that they are not really cut out for married life or parenthood.

This can lead to a deep sense of unhappiness and even depression, and both spouses are more miserable together than they’d be apart. In these circumstances, divorce becomes a way to reclaim their lives. If the couple is able to handle the divorce maturely, they can even continue being friends after.

5. Money

Why do people get divorced

Lack of money or financial stability is definitely one of the top causes of divorce. Couples who don’t approve of each others’ spending/saving habits often end up getting divorced. Facing constant financial crises can lead to severe marital problems, failure of communication, bickering, and even abuse.

Understanding what is divorce is simpler than deciphering why people file for one. Every relationship, every couple is different. While some find a way to sort through their differences, for others, the issues can become too chronic or overwhelming to be resolved. So if someone is able to work things out with their partner, it doesn’t mean you should compare and invalidate your reasons to get divorced. You do you.


1. What are the 5 reasons for divorce?

Infidelity, abuse, unhappiness, financial problems, and drifting apart from each other.

2. What is divorce and why does it happen?

Divorce is the legal separation of a married couple. There are numerous reasons as to why divorce happens including abuse, cheating, or even when the couple decides it’s best if they move on from each other.

3. What year of marriage is divorce most common?

Divorce studies show that the most common years for divorce are between the 7th and 8th year of marriage.

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