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It Happens: Facts and Stats About Divorce During First Year of Marriage

The divorce rate within the first year of marriage is estimated to be around 10%. This means that approximately one in 10 marriages end in divorce during the initial year, highlighting the challenges couples potentially can face early on during their time together as a married couple. There are some key facts and stats that warrant consideration in regard to divorce during first year of marriage.

  • Living together before divorce
  • Financial issues
  • Lack of communication and poor conflict resolution
  • Infidelity
  • Age
  • Unrealistic or unmet expectations
  • Pre-existing mental health or substance abuse problems
  • Lack of intimacy
  • Lack of support from family and friends
  • Unresolved trauma
Couples Who Lived Together Before Marriage More Likely to Divorce During First Year of Marriage

Studies have shown that couples who cohabitated before marriage are more likely to divorce within the first year. Cohabitation can provide a false sense of security, leading to unpreparedness for the realities of married life and potential conflicts. It is important for couples to carefully consider the decision to cohabitate and have open discussions about their expectations and future plans.

Financial Issues

Financial issues, such as disagreements over money management, are one of the leading causes of divorce in the first year. The stress of combining finances and differing financial goals can create significant strain on a newly married couple. It is crucial for couples to establish open and honest communication about their finances, create a budget, and work together to find common ground in managing their money.

Lack of Communication and Poor Conflict Resolution

Lack of communication and poor conflict resolution skills can significantly contribute to divorce during the initial year. Effective communication is crucial for understanding each other's needs, resolving conflicts peacefully, and building a strong foundation for marriage. Couples should actively work on improving their communication skills, such as active listening, expressing themselves clearly, and seeking professional help if needed.


Infidelity or cheating is another common reason for divorce early in the marriage. Trust is fragile in the early stages of a marriage, and acts of infidelity can shatter the trust and lead to irreparable damage. It is essential for couples to establish trust, set boundaries, and maintain open lines of communication to prevent infidelity and address any issues that may arise.

Age and Divorce During First Year of Marriage

Age can play a factor, as couples who marry at a younger age are more likely to divorce within the first year. Younger couples may face unique challenges such as immaturity, lack of life experience, and difficulty adapting to the responsibilities of marriage. It is important for young couples to take the time to understand themselves, their goals, and their expectations before entering into marriage.

Unrealistic or Unmet Expectations

Unrealistic expectations and unmet marital expectations can lead to dissatisfaction and eventual divorce. Couples who enter marriage with unrealistic ideas about their partner or marriage itself may become disillusioned when their expectations are not met. It is crucial for couples to have open and honest conversations about their expectations, and to work together to find common ground and compromise.

Pre-Existing Mental Health or Substance Abuse Problems

Pre-existing mental health issues or substance abuse problems can strain a marriage and lead to divorce within the first year. These underlying issues can create significant challenges in a marriage, affecting communication, trust, and overall relationship dynamics. It is important for couples to seek professional help and support to address these issues and work towards a healthier and stronger relationship.

Lack of Intimacy

Lack of emotional and physical intimacy, including sexual dissatisfaction, can contribute to the breakdown of a marriage during the initial year. Intimacy is an essential aspect of a healthy marriage, and the absence or dissatisfaction in this area can create distance and dissatisfaction. Couples should prioritize nurturing their emotional and physical connection and be willing to openly communicate their needs and desires.

Lack of Support from Family and Friend

Lack of support from family and friends can contribute to the strain on a marriage in the first year. Having a strong support system is crucial during the early stages of marriage, as it provides guidance, advice, and a sense of belonging. Couples should actively seek support from trusted family members and friends who can offer support, encouragement, and guidance during this transitional period.

Unresolved Trauma

Finally, the presence of unresolved past trauma or baggage can impact the stability of a marriage in the first year. Unresolved emotional wounds from previous relationships or traumatic experiences can resurface and create challenges that can result in a divorce during first year of marriage. It is important for couples to address and heal from past trauma, either individually or through couples therapy, in order to create a solid foundation for their marriage. If you have any questions concerning divorce, call us at 201 845-7400 for a free consultation,

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Peter has integrity, and values his relationships with his clients beyond his financial relationship with them. For me to say this about any lawyer is really saying something. He is compassionate, straightforward and knowledgeable. I would easily recommend him to anybody. Lewie W.
Peter Van Aulen handled my case with great diligence and integrity. He is also a compassionate individual who realizes what a difficult time divorce can be emotionally. Peter works hard and doesn't take any shortcuts in preparing for a case… I highly recommend Mr. Van Aulen and his staff. Chuck Solomon
Peter is an exceptionally great attorney. He handled my child custody case and was able to ease any of my concerns with honest answers. He always took the time to explain the pros/cons and was always available to answer any questions that I had… I would highly recommend this attorney to anyone who is looking for one. Jessica Cruz
Peter Van Aulen is a very compassionate, honest and straightforward person. He was there for me at my lowest point with a genuine concern not only for my situation, but for me and my child's well being above all… He is fair and he is strong and when push comes to shove he is there for you. Cathy Dodge
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