A recent study sponsored by Stanford University found that women initiate over two-thirds of all divorces. Popular media outlets have labeled them as “walk-away wives.” The research also shows that even more women want to end their marriage but decide not to take action.
Divorce rates have declined for those under 50. Many speculate that’s partly because people are waiting longer to get married than decades ago. But “gray divorces” are more frequent as many older men and women no longer feel bound to remain in an uninspiring relationship.
Five primary reasons for divorce
Regardless of age, many spouses recognize when it’s time to leave a marriage. While there are many reasons, and each situation is different, here are five top reasons:
- One or both spouses feel the relationship no longer works and can’t be fixed.
- Alcohol or drug abuse or other abusive, disruptive behavior is present in the home.
- Infidelity is often a breaking point for married partners.
- One spouse shirks their responsibilities in the home, such as parenting, responsible spending, household chores or other obligations.
- Partners discover their values are different or have changed over time, opening a chasm that can’t be repaired.
While women leave marriages more often than men, the data shows they suffer greater financial repercussions.
Overcoming the effects of divorce
While these points are relevant to both spouses, they are especially vital for women to lessen emotional pain and ensure a fair financial outcome. Once divorce becomes a reality for you:
- If you have kids, prioritize their needs and well-being. Despite the differences you and your co-parent have, commit to working together for your children’s benefit.
- List all marital and separate assets and work with an experienced divorce attorney to ensure that property division is equitable.
- Have a robust support system in place, including family members, close friends and compassionate legal guidance.
Despite knowing divorce is the best path to a brighter future, many people feel lost and unsure of what comes next. But preparation and knowledge equal power for achieving the best financial outcome possible, and having those you love around for support can keep you on track for happier days.