Grounds for Divorce: Life goals, infidelity, disputes – The most important facts

Reasons for divorce – separations are nothing new anymore. Disagreements, “simple” living apart or even hard reasons(hardship divorce). In every relationship there are different problems and therefore also different reasons for a separation or divorce. But often there are similar reasons, such as infidelity, violence but also jealousy or drug abuse. Back to the guide: Divorce & Real Estate.

Separation and divorce – the reasons for ending a relationship

End a relationship or marriage is always difficult. The law also lays down some rules that do not make the process easier. The law does not specify reasons for divorce, but what are the reasons to end a marriage and what are the top 10 reasons for divorce in Germany?

The most important at a glance:

  • Since 1977, the law no longer requires grounds for divorce…
  • In every relationship there are different problems that can lead to a separation or a divorce
  • Common reasons for divorce are infidelity, violence, differences of opinion, drugs, constriction or the lack of common interests.
  • The decision to divorce should never be taken lightly
  • Talking and working together on the relationship can help save the marriage and overcome the difficulties

Legally valid grounds for divorce – the law in divorces

The law specifies many things when it comes to divorce. However, since 1977 married couples no longer have to state a reason for divorce in order to be able to divorce. The principle of guilt was replaced here by the principle of disruption. However, the legislator specifies a separation year. Before married couples can get divorced, they must go through a separation year, during which the couple is separated but still remains married. This year is to protect against hasty decisions and purely emotional whims and to preserve the principle of marriage. Only in cases of special hardship, the separation year can be omitted.

The grounds for divorce – infidelity, violence and disputes.

There are many different reasons to end a marriage. In each case, the reasons are different and the individual situation of the couple plays a huge role. For some, certain reasons are cause for separation while for others they are not really a reason. In most cases, however, it boils down to similar problems.

Why do women get divorced?

According to a survey by Brigitte magazine, life goals in particular are the reason for divorce. Of 43,000 women, almost 32 percent named different ideas about the future as the main reason. “We’ve grown apart,” they often say succinctly. Place 2 occupies the infidelity with 29.2 per cent. Here affairs of the partner are decisive as a reason for divorce. 10.9 percent of respondents named constant quarreling, bickering and bickering as the main reason for divorcing their husbands, which is thus the third most common reason.

  1. Life goals
  2. Controversy

Cheating and infidelity – lack of trust in the relationship

Trust is known to be one of the most important prerequisites in a relationship. However, this can be destroyed by infidelity. In monogamous relationships, infidelities are one of the most common reasons for separation. For some, a single slip means the end of the relationship, while others are willing to talk about what happened. Such conversations can bring up issues that were not brought up before and problems can be sorted out. Depending on the situation, such conversations can give a relationship new hope and a second chance can lead to a happy ending.

However, the cheating should not be taken lightly in any case and should be considered by both partners as the first problem in the relationship. In many cases, such a fling means the end of the relationship.

Addiction and drugs – a burden on coexistence

Addiction and substance abuse can become a problem in many relationships and a reason for separation. Often partners of addicts are co-dependent and unknowingly support their partner’s unhealthy behavior. Such relationships are extremely unhealthy for both parts of the relationship. In any case, outside help should be sought and the problems worked through. Depending on the case, this can be done together as a couple or individually after the divorce. Support from outside or an own insight are the first important steps to get out of this cycle.

Violence in relationships – unhealthy relationship with each other

Violence in relationships can take many different forms. This ranges from physical violence in any form to psychological violence in the form of condescending comments or insults. In such relationships, it is important to seek outside help and find a confidant to help one out of this difficult situation. In any case, such behavior constitutes grounds for separation and should not be taken lightly. Violence in relationships counts as a hardship case in most cases and can even be cited as grounds for a hardship divorce, which means that the separation year does not have to be observed. Learn more about hardship divorce!

Constriction of the partner – pressure in the relationship

Constrictions in relationships happen very often and are often exercised unnoticed by the people involved. These include, for example, a strong form of jealousy or small tricks that prevent the other partner from organizing their own leisure time. This behaviour often comes from fears of abandonment or a feeling of inferiority. Such problems should be openly addressed and discussed in relationships. Through such discussions, the partner’s anxiety can be relieved and the behavior may improve. If this is not the case, the relationship can become a constricting place that is unhealthy for both partners. In such a case, the situation is definitely grounds for separation!

No common denominator – lack of common ground

These problems often arise when the couple gets into the daily grind and the rose-red glasses slowly disappear. In such situations, couples realize that they actually have nothing in common. Neither political attitudes nor hobbies, eating habits or even the circle of friends. Lack of common interests can become a big problem and cause arguments. To what extent this burden is a reason for separation, however, must be decided individually in each situation. For a while, such lack of common ground can be concealed with a lot of tolerance and love, but the question remains whether the relationship has a long-term future.

Lack of physicality – the attraction is gone

Physicality is very important in relationships and speaks not only of love, but also of a desire for each other. If the tenderness in relationships become scarce, the question remains open how much feelings and attraction are still present in the relationship. Through conversations and joint work, relationships can often be saved and also the physical desires rekindle, but the lack of physicality can certainly become a serious problem and also a reason for separation.

Ranking – the most frequent reasons for separation in Germany

After we have looked at the various reasons for separation and the requirements of the legislator, the only question that remains is which are the most common reasons for separation in Germany and how many marriages are actually divorced in Germany.

Lack of commitment

Lack of commitment is one of the most common reasons for separation in Germany. After some time, couples drift apart, love turns into friendship and the commitment to maintain and work on the marriage is missing.


Infidelity is often the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Already unhappy relationships were finally shattered by the cheating and divorce was the last resort for the couple. In such cases, however, the separation is usually the best for both parties, because the relationship was already falling apart before the infidelity.

Disputes are often not fully resolved in relationships due to communication problems and thus keep resurfacing. The constant arguing changes the feelings towards the other person and the positive atmosphere of the relationship gradually deteriorates. Divorce is the best solution for the couple.

Married too young

The topic of age plays a role for many. Especially during the twenties, people’s feelings and personalities change and go through a transformation. Relationships often break down due to such a change, because common interests disappear or too few commonalities remain. The trend towards marriage gradually shifts to the age of late twenties, early thirties.


Money problems in relationships often lead to arguments. If these accumulate, the finances quickly become a major issue in the relationship and can become a reason for separation. Often, these arguments are only part of the problems, but ultimately bring the barrel to overflow.


Substance abuse presents a difficult issue in relationships, especially when only one partner is affected. These problems are often not the sole reason for divorce, but depending on the case, they can become too much of a strain on the relationship.


Violence in relationships, be it psychological or physical is grounds for separation and even warrants a hardship case in court. Any kind of violence should not be tolerated in relationships and should be grounds for divorce.

Health problems

Health problems cause debt and pain, and especially prevent one partner from doing their part in the relationship. Illnesses can make relationships stronger and make the partners a team, but they can just as easily cause the relationship to break down from the strain. An illness is often a reason for separation in marriages and relationships.

Lack of family support

The family is an important pillar in life for many people. It is therefore just as important that one’s partner gets along well with the family and, in the best case, is integrated into it. If disputes arise at this point and there are conflicts between partner and family, this can become a burden for the relationship. The family is therefore also often a reason for the breakup of a relationship.

The number of marriages in Germany in 2018 was 449,466, according to the Federal State Office. In comparison, the divorce rate in 2018 was 32.94%, which means about 0.3 divorces for every one marriage.

Divorce: guide, help and tips

Divorce is complex, it’s true. But you are not alone! Many let themselves separate and in fact, a large part always finds a good solution. Only a small part ends in a quarrel. So that you can prepare well, you will find here our small guides and tips on divorce, family, money and real estate.