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Seven Reasons Why a (Once) Happy Couple Might Divorce Within a Year of Marriage

A majority of people still take marriage vows with the intent of being together for a lifetime. Certainly, those couples who go to the altar intend to be married for longer than a year. Nonetheless, there are marriages that simply do not make it past the 365-day mark. There are seven relatively commonplace reasons why people divorce within a year of getting married:

  • Realization of underlying incompatibility
  • Infidelity
  • Youthful couple
  • Financial issues
  • Recognition of previously concealed debt
  • Substance use issue
  • Domestic abuse
Realization of Underlying Incompatibility

There is a saying that partners in a couple are on their best behavior prior to a marriage. Moreover, people in intimate relationships may trick themselves into believing they are compatible with their partners when they really are not. The reality of inherent incompatibility comes to the forefront following a marriage. This is one of the more commonplace reasons why people divorce within a first year of saying "I do."


A cheating spouse is a frequent reason why relatively newlywed couples end up in divorce courts. There are even cases in which both spouses are cheating and are engaging in acts of infidelity during the first year of marriage. As an aside, if infidelity is the reason why a couple ends up in divorce court within a year of making wedding vows, odds are the spouse was cheating even before the marriage commenced.

Youthful Couple

There is a cliché about a couple being too young to marry in the first place. While an overused phrase, a couple being too young to be married may be accurate, whether a cliché or not. A youthful couple is more likely to see their marriage end in divorce during the first year following a wedding than are older wedded people.

Financial Issues

Yet another relatively common reason why a married couple ends up seeking a divorce during their first year of marriage is financial issues. These can include financial problems that predate a marriage as well as those that develop during the initial months following a marriage.

Financial issues and problems can result in intense disputes between a couple, a state of affairs that ultimately renders maintaining the marriage an impossibility. Financial issues can arise quickly during the first year of marriage, including a spouse or even both spouses losing a job.

Recognition of Previously Concealed Debt

A surprisingly frequent issue that sends a couple to divorce court involves previously undisclosed debt on the part of one of the spouses. In other words, one spouse has what may prove to be a significant debt or financial problem that the individual does not disclose prior to a wedding. In fact, the financially troubled spouse may not even intentionally divulge the debt issue after the marriage. The other spouse somehow accidentally or unintentionally learns of the debt or problem following the wedding.

Substance Use Issue

Substance use, abuse, and addiction issues represent commonplace reasons why marriages fail. Substance use disorder (including abuse and addiction of mind-altering substances) plays a role in people seeking divorce during the first year of marriage.

In some instances, the non-using spouse is not aware of the substance use issue until after the wedding. In other cases, the non-using spouse imagines that a marriage will somehow end the use issue, likely based on a promise from the using spouse.

Domestic Abuse

Approximately 10 million people, mostly women, are victims of domestic abuse each year in the United States. While these include people in all types of intimate relationships, a majority of the cases of domestic abuse take place within a marriage.

A notable percentage of marriages end within the first year as the result of domestic abuse. The reality is that in most of these cases, the abuse predated the nuptials. There is a misconception among many people facing domestic abuse that the situation will improve somehow when a couple weds.

Even if a marriage has lasted less than a year, complicated issues can arise in a divorce case. For that reason, obtaining representation from an experienced divorce lawyer is advisable. If need a divorce lawyer, call the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen at 201-845-7400.

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