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Deciding to divorce may be one of the most complex decisions you’ll ever make, but also the most beneficial. While most marriages have peaks and valleys, specific issues are insurmountable. The following are situations where divorce may be the best—or only—option.  

Spousal and child abuse

This includes emotional, physical, and verbal attacks and sabotage. Deciding to leave an abusive marriage is not as clear-cut as it seems. The victim may not want to leave the abusive spouse—or feel they cannot. Love, finances, concerns about further violence, and keeping family together are just a few reasons why people stay in harmful marriages. 

The disturbing reality is that trying to fix the damage of abuse usually doesn’t work out. It gives the wrongdoer more latitude to repeat the harmful behavior. According to, nearly 20% of those arrested for domestic violence face rearrests within six months. Approximately 15-30% face rearrests within two and a half years. Since many victims don’t report domestic violence, those statistics don’t tell the whole story.

Like physical attacks, verbal and emotional abuse can take a massive toll on your physical and mental health. Insults, gaslighting, or emotional isolation can negatively affect your self-esteem. Divorce is one path to taking back control of your livelihood and well-being. 


Similar to abuse, infidelity isn’t always cut-and-dry. The adulterer may not want to confess, or the betrayed person may not be ready to take action. Both parties could be cheating.

Unfortunately, ending a marriage due to infidelity is common. According to Psychology Today, 40% of adults who’ve ever cheated during a marriage are separated or divorced. There were likely problems in the union that preceded the cheating. 

Counseling Today says infidelity can cause PTSD, depression, health problems, and erratic behaviors and moods. Parental infidelity also has ramifications for children, whether they witness a parent cheating or the other parent discussing the other’s affair. Infidelity can cause irreparable damage to a relationship, and divorce becomes the only option to move forward.

Failed reconciliation, living apart, and incompatibility 

You’ve tried counseling and therapy—separately and together. However, certain things don’t change, only one of you is attending sessions, or your issues are unfixable. Maybe you’re already living apart or have become so disconnected you feel alone. Living separately and apart for at least 180 days–nearly six months—is grounds for divorce in Minnesota.

As a couple, you may not be compatible anymore—or never were in the first place. Perhaps you got married young, or one person decides they want kids when the other doesn’t. Physical and emotional intimacy has faded or dissolved. You’ve grown in different directions, or your values don’t mesh.

Financial incompatibility is also a significant cause of marital discord. You and your spouse may have conflicting views on spending and saving. One person may be a spendthrift or rack up substantial debt. New research claims that 54% of people consider debt a substantial reason to divorce. Financial infidelity is also a source of trouble; example behaviors include secretive purchases or dishonesty about income.

When some differences or improprieties are too large to ignore, it’s time to let the marriage go.

The following steps after you decide to divorce

Ending your marriage is a weighty decision. However, it’s a way forward to a safe, positive life for yourself and your children. You don’t have to navigate the divorce process alone. Duluth Family Lawyer is here to support you at every step. 

Our expertise encompasses uncontested, contested, and collaborative divorces. We also guide annulment and legal separation processes. Contact us, and we’ll get back to you within one business day to schedule a consultation.



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