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Deciding to divorce or stay will never be easy

There have long been speculations about the reasons people in New Jersey and elsewhere have for ending their marriages. As part of the National Divorce Decision Making Project, 3,000 married individuals between the ages of 25 and 50 were surveyed to gain knowledge and possible understanding of the causes of divorce. Although the responses revealed multiple dynamic and complex factors that influenced people's decisions about divorce, four main factors made up the majority of responses.

Children, and how a divorce would impact their wellbeing and happiness, featured in many responses. It is not uncommon for unhappy couples to remain together for the sake of the children. Happiness -- or the lack thereof -- seems to influence the decisions of many people. Some responders indicated that, while they were not entirely unhappy, their happiness often depended on the frame of mind of their spouses.

Financial concerns often play an important part in the decision-making process of divorces. This could include concern about an individual's own capability to cope with only his or her income or the concern about a non-working spouse's ability to survive without a separate income. This also leads to questions about spousal and child support and the affordability of it. The question of love often came up, but typically as a sort of after-thought. The emotion often influenced their decisions, but it alone was hardly ever a reason for staying or leaving.

Many New Jersey couples may come to the conclusion that an unhappy marriage is unhealthy for both spouses and their children. If they decide to file for divorce before the relationship deteriorates to a stage where separating turns into a bitter battle, an amicable divorce may be achieved that might leave relationships between parents and children intact. A consultation with an experienced divorce attorney may be appropriate, even if it is only to gain knowledge of the procedures related to the different types of divorce. Being fully informed may ease the decision-making process.

Source:, "The "Big Four" Factors in Americans' Divorce Decisions", Kelly M. Roberts, Payton Birlew, Steve M. Harris, and Sarah M. Allen, May 17, 2016

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