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Survey finds lack of commitment, infidelity lead to divorce

People in Arizona who are getting a divorce may do so because of religious differences, financial issues or marriage at too young an age. These were only a few of the reasons cited by the 31 women and 21 men in a survey by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. All of the people who participated in the survey had been in a program called PREP 14 years earlier that taught conflict resolution and communication skills to couples.

The most common factor cited by people who divorced was a lack of commitment with three-quarters mentioning it. More than half said infidelity was a factor, and it was the top reason cited as the final straw that ended the marriage. Just behind infidelity was too much arguing.

After financial problems, one-third of respondents said substance abuse was a factor, and nearly one-fourth said physical or emotional abuse contributed to their divorce. Health problems created a rift in some marriages while others said that their marriage suffered from a lack of family support. Even though all the couples had participated in the PREP program, some also said that they could have used more premarital counseling. One person mentioned not understanding the changes marriages go through over time.

While most divorces involve dividing property and may also involve making decisions about child custody, how these negotiations happen may differ based on the reason for divorce. For example, parents who have split up over religious differences but who share legal custody of a child will need to decide how to address religion in their child's life. A couple divorcing over financial issues might have significant debt to divide. Infidelity could mean a high-conflict divorce, but the couple may still be able to reach an agreement with their attorneys' help instead of going to court.

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