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Common reasons for divorce are lack of love, communication issues

Researchers who asked more than 2,300 people why they got a divorce found that many couples have a lack of emotional satisfaction in their marriages. Rather than behavioral reasons, such as violence and addiction, exes pointed to psychological reasons, such as a lack of love or trust, that led the divorce. The study authors, who published their findings in the "Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy," reflected that this represented a shift in how marriage is perceived. Increasingly, people seek to be emotionally fulfilled in marriage. Many spouses in California may be willing to leave a relationship that does not provide that fulfillment.

Survey respondents were recently separated and had an average age of 45. Overall, the lack of love in a marriage was the No. 1 reason for splitting up. In second place was poor communication. The third most common reason was that trust had been breached and could not be rebuilt, or one or both individuals lost respect for the other. In fourth place, exes claimed they had spread apart over the years.

A joint decision to divorce is much less common than a divorce initiated by one person. Just 16% of respondents said their divorce had been mutual. A similar percentage of participants initiated the divorce, 44%, compared to 40% whose spouse had.

When a divorce is a mutual decision, the couple may be able to move ahead with a quick resolution regarding property division and child custody. On the other hand, it could still be possible to negotiate a divorce agreement even if one or both people are angry or upset. It's important to pay attention to financial interests and to not be overwhelmed by these emotions during negotiations. An attorney may be able to help a client stay focused on practical issues.

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