Understanding the Top Reasons Why Marriages End in Divorce in Arizona

Researchers have long examined what causes divorce. Divorce rates have been examined based on easily measurable factors like marital age. However, some researchers have gone directly to the source, asking divorced people why they think their marriages ended.

Study participants ranked the top six causes of divorce based on how often they said those issues were a major factor in ending their marriage. There is more than one reason why a couple gets divorced (which is why the percentages add up to more than 100%), and those reasons are usually intertwined. Extramarital affairs are more likely to occur when people have other marital problems, and communication problems exacerbate issues such as money disputes. Couples often disagree about what caused their breakup, which complicates matters further.

Divorce Statistics
A study conducted by the American Community Survey in conjunction with the Daily Beast found that Arizona has the highest divorce rate in the country, at 10.98-12.63 per 1,000 people.

Marriages outnumber divorces each year by a wide margin. Using these divorce statistics, we can better understand how and why marriages end and what causes them to end.

Even after divorce, many people don’t give up on marriage. After their marriage ends, 64% of men and 52% of women remarry.

Divorce: How Common Is It?
Is it true that half of all marriages end in divorce? Yes, but only when it comes to first marriages, half of which end in divorce. The failure rate of second and third marriages is much higher. It usually takes some time for a marriage to end after the wedding. Eight years is the average length of a marriage before divorce.

Legal Basics of Divorce
Divorce is the legal end of a marriage. In Arizona, divorce is called “dissolution of marriage,” and court papers use that term instead of divorce. Besides ending the marriage, the court may divide certain property and debts of the spouses and, in some cases, order one spouse to pay alimony (support) to the other. If children are involved, the court can also decide on custody, parenting time (formerly called visitation), and child support.

A marriage can only be legally ended by a court. However, spouses can agree to as many terms as they wish. There are court services available in several counties providing mediation services to assist in resolving issues such as parenting time and custody. When spouses reach agreements, fewer issues are left to be resolved by the court, which can result in a more satisfying outcome and speed up the court process.

One spouse must file a lawsuit in the Yavapai County Superior Court to get a divorce. It is important to familiarize yourself with the rules and procedures of your county before you begin a case. The Petition is a legal document requesting the court to dissolve the marriage and issue necessary orders regarding the spouses’ property, debts, and financial support.

Petitioners should also include specific requests for custody, parenting time, and child support if children are involved. The Petition is an important legal document because a court cannot grant a spouse anything unless they request it in the Petition. Working with a family law attorney in Prescott, you will be guided through this process, so you don’t leave out anything important.

Once the Petition is filed, according to the United States constitutional law, all interested parties must be notified and have a chance to be heard before the court can act. This means that the papers filed by the Petitioner in a divorce case must be made available to the other spouse, who can then reply.

Divorce When Children Are Involved
Getting a divorce generally follows the same steps and procedures in all cases, even when the spouses have minor children together. However, when children are involved, the court is responsible for deciding custody, parenting time, and child support. A court must make orders in a child’s best interest, even if the marriage ends by default. In addition, parents who have minor children must complete an educational course as a condition of divorce.

A court generally directs parents who disagree about custody or parenting time to meet with trained court professionals to try to reach an agreement through a process known as “mediation.” If the parents cannot agree, the court will decide these issues.

Top Reasons for Divorce

  1. Lack of Communication
    Researchers have found that around 50 percent of divorces result from poor communication, such as arguing too much and being unable to talk to each other. Communication problems can also contribute to other reasons for divorce, such as conflict over finances and family responsibilities. Couples often struggle to communicate contentious issues like finances, parenting, and intimacy.
  1. Infidelity
    Arizona is a ‘no-fault’ divorce state. Adultery no longer has a major impact on the outcome of your divorce. Divorce decrees stating that a spouse had an affair may give some spouses some personal satisfaction, but it has no bearing on alimony, property division, or child custody issues. Neither the fair division of assets nor a parent’s ability to care for their children is affected by such extramarital activities.
  1. Financial Issues
    About 20-40% of people in different studies cited financial problems as a major reason for divorcing their ex-spouse. When couples argue over money, they are often called “financial incompatibility” because their priorities and values differ.
  1. Substance Abuse
    Various studies found that 10% and 35% of couples divorced because of problems with drinking or drugs. Addiction often damages a marriage over time and requires therapy to repair. Even if a partner undergoes treatment and becomes sober, those wounds will not simply disappear.
  1. Domestic Violence
    It is not uncommon for victims of domestic violence to get divorced. The correlation between domestic violence and divorce is high but not high enough. The key to filing for divorce in Arizona is finding a divorce attorney in Prescott, AZ, who has experience with domestic violence and divorce.
  2. Incompatibility
    The legislators who settled on “irreconcilable differences” as the basis for no-fault divorce were on to something. In one study, up to 55% of divorced people responded with some variation of “we grew apart,” “we drifted apart,” or “we were incompatible.” Incompatibility is also associated with other reasons for divorce.

When Should I Contact a Divorce Lawyer?
In certain situations, you should always hire an experienced divorce lawyer. It is important to hire a qualified divorce lawyer if you have a history of child abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse, or substance abuse. There can be no fair negotiation when there is a power imbalance and/or violence between spouses.

You must do the same when your spouse hires a family law attorney. When one side hires an experienced divorce attorney, and the other does not, the unrepresented party often walks away without a fair deal. Make sure you level the playing field by hiring a divorce attorney.

Although divorce is never pleasant, some divorces are unbearable, especially if the other party hides assets, wastes marital funds, destroys marital property, or threatens you with physical abuse. Hiring a qualified divorce attorney might be best if you and your spouse cannot agree on divorce terms. You’ll feel some relief from your divorce stress knowing that you have a divorce professional advocating for your rights throughout the divorce.

Schedule a Consultation!

If you or your spouse are considering divorce, now is the time to contact a divorce lawyer in Prescott, Arizona. We at Willison Law understand the challenges you may encounter and are ready to provide you with the legal advice you need. Contact Stephanie Willison today by clicking to call or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation.


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