Factors Causing Increase in Divorce Rate Today

Factors Causing Increase in Divorce Rate Today

Divorce is a term used to refer to determination of a marital relationship that is legally contracted. This term is sometimes confused with marriage annulment. They two are similar but they are not the same. Marriage annulment declares an existing marital union null and void which means that the marriage is believed not to have taken place ab initio. But in divorce, the marriage is not declared null and void, rather it is only terminated owing to a number of reasons such as domestic violence and infidelity. The marriage is accepted but has been terminated. Thus, it does no longer exist after termination.

In the world today, the divorce rate is on the increase owing to a number of reasons. This is evident from the divorce demography prepared by a number of countries. Divorce demography referred to data collected on divorce which give detailed information about the number of divorces within a given period. From the divorce demography from various countries one can say that the divorce rate is on the increase owing to a number of reasons such as infidelity, infertility, lack of trust, financial problems, incompatibility and many other problems.

Before looking at divorce rate and factors causing increase in its rate, it will be good to explain what divorce rate is all about.

What is divorce rate?

The rate of divorce or divorce rate implies the frequency at which divorce occurs within a given time period. It can also mean the number of divorce that occurs within a given number of years. Generally, it refers to the likelihood of a given marriage being legally separated.

In the US alone, the divorce rate is quite alarming. Divorce demography of the US showed a divorce rate of 50 percent which is quite alarming. It is estimated that about 40 to 50 percent of marital unions in America will end up in divorce.

There is the tendency for some people to think that only first marriages end up in legal separation. This is far from the truth. Some people have entered into marriage for several times and each ended up in legal termination. In fact, the divorce rate in the opinion of Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional in Springfield, Missouri is higher in third marriage. According to her, 74 percent of marital unions are terminated legally while 67 percent and 50 percent of second and first marriages end in legal termination. From her statistics, the divorce rate for first marriages is not as high as the divorce rate for second and third marriages.

Jennifer’s assumption is also supported by the statistics in enrichment journal. According to this journal, divorce rate for the first marriage in the US is 41 percent while that of second marriage is 60 percent. The divorce rate for the third marital unions is 73 percent which is higher than others.

The US is not the only country with high divorce rate. The divorce rate in England and other European country is also higher. The record of the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in the UK shows that 118,140 marriages were separated in 2012. The figure indicates that there is an increase of 0.5 percent compared to the rate of divorce in 2011. ONS statistics showed that in 2012, 13 marriages were separated every hour.

Other countries across the globe are also experiencing increase in divorce rate, though some countries’ divorce rate is higher than others. As it has been said above, there are a number of factors that contribute to the increase in divorce witnessed in many countries especially in the western countries. Below are some of the factors that contribute to increase in divorce rate.

Factors contributing to high divorce rate in the society

As it has been said above, there are a number of factors that contribute to increase in divorce rate. Here are some of these factors.

Childlessness or infertility

Childlessness or infertility is one of the major causes of divorce today. Most people file for divorce because their partners are not able to make children or have problems with their reproductive systems which make it impossible for them to make babies. Infertility or childlessness result in divorce if the partner that is fertile is not ready to accept any of the modern methods of helping infertile couples to have children such as adoption, invitro fertilization, surrogacy and others. It does not constitute any problem if the couples love each other and are ready to accept any of the modern way of helping infertile couples to have children. Marriage separation as result of this is common in developing countries where people still have misgiving about these means of getting children. People whose religion does not accept such ways of getting children like surrogacy or invitro fertilization may divorce their partners and look for a partner that is fertile.


Infidelity is another factor that contributes to high divorce rate in the modern time. Some people cannot tolerate infidelity or any form of adultery from their partners. Once it is obvious to them that their partners are unfaithful, they make up their mind and call it a quit. Many marriages are terminated because of infidelity. But unfortunately, some married people are still unfaithful to their partners.

Domestic violence

Domestic violence occurs in a number of ways. Some people may limit it to physical abuse. But the truth is that physical abuse is just an aspect of domestic violence. Verbal abuse, denial of basic needs such as money, excessive control and physical abuse are many forms of domestic violence. No matter the form it occurs, it is one of the causes of divorce in the society today. The divorce rate tends to increase as the rate of domestic violence increases. People fed up with their violent attitude of their partners normally file for divorce so that the marriage can be terminated. Nowadays, domestic violence is taken seriously. Marriage can easily be separated if it is proved beyond doubt that a partner in a marriage is being abused by another partner.

Sexual problems

There are a number of sexual problems that cause divorce. If a man or woman feels sexually starved or unsatisfied, the person can file for divorce. There are a number of marriages that have been separated based on that fact. Sexual problems occur in a number of ways. Such sexual problems include premature ejaculation, frigidity, low libido or lack of affection, inexperience in sex, lack of interest in sexual activities and others are some of the sexual problems that can make a person to file for divorce. For example, some women whose husbands are sexually normal but do not give attention to them due to a number of engagements may file for divorce. The same is applicable to men. Marriage is on the brink of collapse if any of the partners feels sexually starved or unsatisfied. Sexual issues are taken seriously by some people and those that cannot tolerate sexual starvation file for legal separation.


Divorce rate is on the increase today as a result of incompatibility of the partners. Some people get into marriage without studying their partners very well to know whether or not they are compatible with each other. They only discover that they are not compatible with their partners when it is already too late. They have no option than to file for divorce. Divorce caused by incompatibility is common among young people. Moments of courtship is recommended to enable people to study themselves in order to find out if they are compatible or not.

Marrying for wrong reason

There are a number of people that go into marriage for wrong reasons. It is said that marrying for wrong is the ticket to fast divorce. This is true because people who get in for wrong reasons easily become fed up especially if they do not realise their aim. To avoid this problem, it is recommended that people should marry for love and companionship.

High expectation

Everybody has some expectation from their partners. However, there are some people that have very high expectations from their partners. They become frustrated and file for divorce when their dreams and expectations are not realized. It is not good to have high expectation from your partner if you don’t want to have a broken home or marriage. This does not mean that you should not have your dreams. But you should only have a dream that are realizable or that can be achieved by your partner given his abilities.

Behavioural or lifestyle problems

Every person has their unique lifestyle. However, some lifestyles are not good or are commonly seen as bad. For example, excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages to extent of becoming intoxicated by them or taking of hard drugs are generally considered a bad lifestyle. It is one of the factors that contribute to increase in divorce rate in many nations today. Many young people abuse drugs and alcohol. Most people enter into marriage without knowing that their partners are drug addicts. When they discover that, they file for divorce if they cannot cope with such acts.

Financial issues

Financial related issues are among the major causes of increase in divorce rate. A marriage may collapse when the partners are having financial issues. Financial issues can occur in many ways such as inability of a man to provide for the needs of the family, disagreement in family budgets and many others are some of the financial problems that may lead to separation of marriage.


There are other factors contributing to increase in divorce rate. Such factors include:

  • not having shared vision
  • different in social class
  • difference in academic
  • having different or contradicting interest
  • misplacement of priority in marriage