Much like a fingerprint, marriages and divorces are mostly unique, with different factors playing a role in each process. However, just as one couple’s divorce may differ from another’s, there may be more similarity lurking behind divorce filings than most people in Illinois expect. One group of researchers found that some factors may be more prone to influence divorce than others.

Two of those factors include living apart from a spouse or experiencing a devastating trauma. While virtually any couple could experience either of these at any point in time, it was pointed out that military couples have a high probability of experiencing these. In military families, when an active duty member deploys, his or her spouse remains at home.

But the influences on divorce do not have to be as drastic as living apart or undergoing a traumatic experience, such as experiencing war time. Simply losing a job can increase a couple’s likelihood of calling it quits down the road. This effect was noticed when husbands lost their job, which put them at roughly equal likelihoods of either leaving their spouse, or their spouse leaving them.

Furthermore, research from 2011 found that extramarital affairs was no longer listed as the most common reason for divorce on its annual list. Infidelity fell to the second spot on the list, placing second to simply falling out of love. One professional cited her experience as a couple’s counselor, noting that many of her couples appeared more and more willing to work through the problems that can arise after an affair.

Typically, there is no single reason behind an Illinois couple’s decision to divorce. While certain events or factors might increase the risk of divorce, these are by no means indicative that a couple will absolutely divorce. However, for those who do end up separating, they will have to reach an acceptable divorce settlement through either mediation or litigation in front of a judge.

Source:, “Top reasons couples divorce – and how to head it off”, Lois M. Collins, April 10, 2015