Protecting What You Value Most

Study examines reasons for divorce

Some Texas couples who get a divorce may do so because they no longer feel emotionally fulfilled in their marriages. Researchers who published a study in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy found that reasons that people choose to end their marriage may have shifted from those that are behavior-based, such as violence or infidelity, to those that are based in psychology.

The number one reason couples in the study cited for divorce was a lack of love. Almost half said their marriage ended for this reason. In second place was a breakdown in communication. The third most common reason for divorce was a sense that trust had been betrayed and could not be rebuilt. A lack of respect was also cited. According to some research, respect can be even more critical in a relationship than love. The fourth most common reason couples gave for their marriage’s end was growing apart. Over time, some couples found that they lacked compatible goals or lifestyles.

The study’s 2,371 participants had an average age of 45 and were recently divorced. Only 16% said the decision to divorce had been a mutual one while 44% said they initiated it and 40% said a spouse had. More participants said their divorce was low or no conflict, 40%, compared to 29% who said it was high-conflict.

Whether a divorce is high or low in conflict, attorneys might be able to help couples reach an agreement on child custody and property division without going to court. In Texas, assets are supposed to be divided equally. Negotiating instead of going to litigation can give a couple the opportunity to reach a more flexible agreement. For example, instead of dividing all property 50/50, one of them might keep the home while the other keeps an investment account that has an equal value.