Top reasons why couples divorce – from hating in-laws to lack of sex

Adultery is the top reason why people divorce, according to research.

So it comes as no surprise that just half of divorcees remain friends after their marriages break down.

A survey of 1,000 divorced adults found 49% weren’t able to maintain a positive relationship with their former spouse.

Meanwhile, half believe any chance of friendship was well and truly ended as a direct result of their divorce proceedings.

Three in 10 divorcees recall “lots” of arguments during their split process, leaving a third regretting their choice not to use mediation and arbitration services.

Although, 25% weren’t aware this was a possible option for them.

As a result, the research commissioned by law firm, Irwin Mitchell, found 52% have worries about the entire process.

Almost four in 10 (37%) feel embarrassed over their actions and 54% are unhappy with the financial settlements.

General financial arrangements were also found to be the most challenging part of Brits’ divorce proceedings, with 27%struggling with the cost of the divorce itself.

Another 37% said their divorce ended up costing them much more than they had expected, with the same amount believing their split would have been less costly, had proceedings been ‘friendlier’ on either side.

Three quarters said it’s especially important to keep negotiations amicable if kids are involved, but 40% have regrets about the childcare arrangements they agreed.

Reasons why marriages break down

1. Adultery

2. Didn’t agree on whether to have kids

3. Didn’t get on with in-laws

4. Financial reasons

5. I grew to hate them

6. Just drifted apart

7. Just generally incompatible

8. Lack of sexual intimacy

9. Lost physical attraction

10. Partner committed a crime

Ros Bever, a divorce lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: "The perception of divorce is changing fast.

“And many people want to maintain respect and stay on good terms with their ex whether that is for their kids’ sake, because their social circles overlap, or to make the process more cost effective.

“Obviously, nobody goes into a marriage expecting it to end in divorce, and one thing we try and impress on people splitting up is to remember how they felt at the start of their relationship.

“This is clearly more difficult for some than others, depending on the particulars of the divorce, but the fact is that being friendly and amicable during a divorce will always lead to a happier outcome for both sides and save on legal fees.”

The average divorce takes more than one and a half years to go through from start to finish – with sorting out the finances being the top reason for dragging it out.

However, one in three get held up by forms being filled out incorrectly, delays with the court process itself, or one party refusing to send the divorce papers on.

More than a fifth of British divorcees polled had a pre-nuptial agreement in place before they got married, with 92% of those upheld.

And the vast majority – 86% – believe the courts dealt ‘fairly’ with the particulars of their divorce.

Men were slightly more likely than women to feel mistreated – 18% of men compared with 11% of women.

The research, carried out via OnePoll, found four in 10 respondents put their children’s welfare at the top of their priority list when going through a divorce.

Meanwhile, a quarter worried most about the financial aspect.

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Ros Bever added: “Getting a divorce can be complicated, especially adding in factors like children, property and even pets.

“But there are options available for couples to separate more collaboratively and remain on better terms post-divorce.

“Using mediation is a good way of making sure someone is remembering all these little details and making sure everyone is happy with how things are going.

“You could also use Arbitration which is like a private court with a judge chosen by the divorcees and offers a little more control.

“Using a different process such as mediation or arbitration can take some of the pressure off the people going through the divorce, and can help them maintain a friendship during – and sometimes after – the papers are all finalised."

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