Six Common Grounds for Divorce in the United States

It is often misreported that 50% of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. A New York Times study from 2008 showed otherwise. According to Justin Wolfers article on the Freakonomics blog, the actual number is something closer to 33% and gradually sliding downward. Many attribute this to the fact that more people are cohabitating. These cohabitations frequently do not work out, and as a result, what would have been failed marriages are often avoided.

Nevertheless, since the peak of 1979, marriage has proven a formidable challenge for couples in love. When the honeymoon ends and the going gets tough, it is not uncommon for one or both to throw up their hands and surrender to the work that is required.

There are a number of reasons why one might divorce a spouse. Our fifty states each have a different set of laws, and thusly, you should refer to them for the wording in your area. Here are six common grounds for divorce:


You gave it a test drive, and it did not work out. You do not like the same activities, the same interests, or their annoying little quirks. Get you out of this thing before you start to hate each other.

Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage:

Your personalities clash. There is no mutual concern for emotional needs. Your finances have gotten the better of you. You have been away from one another for an unreasonably extended period of time. All are factors in determining the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. These are usually characterized by feelings of resentment, distrust, or constant bickering. When enough is enough for one or the both of you, this is considered plausible grounds.

Voluntary abandonment:

If it can be proven that one spouse has voluntarily prioritized something else over the union for an extended amount of time, then it could be possible for you to prove voluntary abandonment as a reasonable grounds for divorce. Did the spouse move in with someone else? If so, it is plausible.


This is also the only Biblical reason for divorce, for those of you that take your marriage laws to heart from the Good Book. Adultery is when one spouse sleeps with someone else outside the marriage. It is a plausible grounds, but much easier to prove to yourself than a court of law. And the cheating spouse will usually fight this one.


If your spouse commits a felony act resulting in serious prison time, you have legal grounds to seek a divorce. Just make sure it is not a violent crime, or else you could experience some hairy moments down the road should said spouse ever escape or be paroled. Which brings us to:

Domestic Violence or Abuse:

If he or she gives you what for, then no one is going to blame you for dropping the D-Bomb. Surround yourself with a solid support base and make the break.

If your marriage experiences any of the grounds listed above, you will have a lot to overcome. After all, divorce is a hard thing for anyone to endure. The most important thing to remember is to keep your head and your sense of humor, and life will move on from there.


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