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Survey finds common factors in divorce

Kentucky couples might benefit from premarital counseling, but even people who have been through this kind of counseling may still end up divorcing. In a survey of people who had participated in a program called PREP 14 years earlier, which focused on improving couples' communication and conflict resolution skills, some reported that the counseling still did not adequately prepare them for marriage or the changes that happen over the course of marriage.

This was one of 11 reasons cited as divorce factors in a study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. From lack of family support to domestic violence to infidelity, the 52 respondents identified a number of reasons their marriage did not last. In three-quarters of responses, participants said a lack of commitment played a part. Over half said they had communication problems that resulted in too much arguing, and nearly half said they were not old enough when they married.

Financial problems were an issue for more than one-third of couples, and this can include having different attitudes about money as well as struggling financially. Substance abuse contributed to around one-third of the divorces, and domestic abuse played a part in almost one-quarter. Health problems, too little family support and religious differences were all factors in some of the marriage breakdowns.

Reasons for divorce may affect the process of divorce negotiations. For example, if one spouse's health problems are a significant factor, that spouse may also be concerned about making sure health insurance coverage does not lapse as a result of the divorce. Division of debt may be an issue in divorces that were prompted by financial problems while high conflict and infidelity during the marriage could mean that couples struggle in divorce negotiations. However, litigation is not inevitable even in these situations. The couple may be able to reach a divorce agreement through mediation.

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