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Uncovering the Top Causes and Remedies for Divorce in Australia
30 Nov 2023

Explore the primary causes and potential remedies for divorce in Australia.

By Family Lawyers Mackay, 30 Nov 2023

Marriage, a sacred union built on love and commitment, is not immune to life’s challenges. In Australia, as in many other parts of the world, divorces are a reality that countless couples face. Understanding the root causes of these separations is crucial for individuals contemplating marriage, those currently navigating its complexities, and even professionals in the field. This comprehensive blog will explore the most common reasons for divorce in Australia and potential remedies for divorce.

Australia’s Most Recent Divorce Statistics, 2022

Various aspects affect marriage and divorce rates in Australia, including personal, social, legal, and economic factors. While most individuals enter marriage without anticipating its dissolution, divorce rates might be more dominant than commonly realised.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2021 marriage and divorce statistics were released on its official website on November 10, 2022. 

According to the ABS, 89,164 marriages were registered nationally for the reference year. The ABS noted that this figure is lower than the pre-pandemic figures (113,815) but exceeds Australia’s historically lowest number, which stood at 78,989 in 2020.

The last statistics reveal a divorce rate of 2.2 divorces per 1,000 Australian residents, with up to 33% of marriages projected to end in divorce. This percentage has steadily risen since 1975 following the preface of the Family Law Act and the implementation of ‘no-fault divorce,’ where the reason for the breakdown became irrelevant to getting a divorce.

In 2021, Australia witnessed 56,244 granted divorces, marking a 13.6% rise compared to 49,510 in 2020 and 49,116 in 2019.

Grounds for divorce vary, including falling out of love, relationship conflicts, infidelity, issues with in-laws, addiction, mental health concerns, and domestic or family violence.


By consulting one of our accredited family law mackay specialists.

Communication Breakdown

Clear communication forms the foundation of a strong marriage. When couples find it challenging to convey their needs, feelings, and concerns, a chasm can form, leading to misunderstandings and resentment.

When couples struggle to convey their needs, feelings, and concerns, a chasm can form, leading to misunderstandings and resentment.

Couples often struggle to communicate effectively, leading to conflicts, misunderstandings, and emotional distance. In Australia, poor communication skills account for 27% of divorces.

Examples of communication problems include:

  • Avoid specific topics or do not communicate at all.
  • Failing to listen and not being actively present during conversations.
  • Interrupting and talking over each other, preventing mutual understanding.
  • Becoming defensive hinders conflict resolution.
  • Engaging in unreasonable blaming and criticism without proof creates trust issues and miscommunication.
  • Withholding emotions and feelings results in a lack of intimacy and emotional distance.
  • Financial issues can also contribute to poor communication skills."Harmony in Differences: Navigating Incompatibilities for Lasting Love"

Resolving conflicts during divorce demands strong communication skills, particularly concerning property division, child custody, and finances.

Clear, open communication can alleviate the emotional strain of divorce by ensuring both parties feel heard and understood. This can mitigate anxiety, depression, and stress, leading to improved mental well-being.

Effective parental communication is essential for children’s emotional stability during and after divorce. A harmonious co-parenting relationship allows for open discussions about parenting decisions, schedules, and concerns, fostering a nurturing environment.

Smooth communication can streamline the divorce process, saving time and money. Rather than enduring protracted legal battles, effective communication facilitates out-of-court agreements.

Financial Strain and Marital Discord

Money matters can cast a long shadow on marital bliss. Financial stressors, such as debt, unemployment, and disagreements over financial management, often contribute to the breakdown of marriages. Acknowledging the impact of financial strain is pivotal in the intricate dance of marriage and finances. Everyday stressors like debt, unemployment, and conflicting economic values can strain the fabric of a marriage. Tackling these challenges requires a united front, with couples collaboratively working towards joint strategies. Creating a solid marital financial plan involves taking proactive steps such as transparently communicating, establishing shared financial objectives, and consulting with professionals. Shared responsibility ensures both partners actively engage in decision-making, fostering a sense of partnership. By viewing financial challenges as opportunities for growth, couples not only navigate these obstacles but also fortify the bonds that make their union resilient.

The Pain of Infidelity

Extramarital affairs inflict profound emotional wounds, eroding the bedrock of trust within a marriage. The pain of betrayal reverberates, causing both partners a cascade of emotional turmoil. Marriages strained by infidelity often face irreparable damage, leading to profound consequences. Rebuilding trust demands open communication, sincere remorse, and a commitment to change. While navigating the aftermath is delicate, couples can seek counselling, fostering a space for healing. Addressing the complexities of infidelity is crucial for those seeking to understand and mend the fractures in marital bonds. It’s a delicate topic but an important one to address in understanding the complexities of marital breakdowns.

Navigating Incompatibilities

Over time, couples may discover fundamental differences in values, goals, or lifestyles. As relationships mature, inherent incompatibilities may surface, posing enduring challenges for couples. Fundamental differences in values, goals, or lifestyles can strain the foundation of a partnership. Successfully navigating such disparities necessitates committing to compromise, discovering common ground, and understanding that each partner brings unique perspectives to foster resilience. Couples can sustain a lasting connection by embracing the art of compromise, acknowledging distinctions, and actively seeking harmonious solutions. In the face of incompatibilities, the key lies in evolving together, ensuring that the growth journey strengthens rather than diminishes the bond between partners.

Substance Abuse and Its Toll 

Substance abuse, encompassing alcohol and drug addiction, profoundly disrupts marital harmony. This exploration delves into the intricate connection between substance abuse and marital strife, scrutinising its toll on family dynamics. The corrosive impact often leads to fractured relationships and emotional turbulence. However, hope lies in seeking help and overcoming addiction. Addressing these challenges mandates open communication, professional intervention, and a commitment to recovery. By navigating the journey of overcoming addiction together, couples can rebuild relationships, fostering a path toward healing and renewed connection after the storm of substance abuse has passed.

Intimacy: The Glue of Marriage 

Intimacy is the adhesive that strengthens marital bonds, encompassing physical and emotional connection. This segment underscores the pivotal role of intimacy in sustaining a marriage, shedding light on common challenges that surface. Issues often arise due to communication barriers or daily stresses. However, revitalising the spark requires intentional efforts. Practical tips, including open communication, prioritising quality time, and exploring shared interests, empower couples to deepen their connection. By recognising intimacy as a dynamic force, couples can navigate challenges and foster a resilient and enduring union built on the profound connection that physical and emotional closeness provides.

Domestic Violence and the Unraveling of Marriages

Domestic violence poses a harrowing threat to marriages, often culminating in divorce. Recognising its signs—physical or emotional abuse—is crucial for intervention. Victims must prioritise seeking help, breaking the silence that shrouds their suffering. Legal consequences for perpetrators vary, emphasising the need for legal assistance. Numerous resources, from hotlines to shelters, offer support to those trapped in this cycle of abuse. Addressing domestic violence within marriages mandates collective societal efforts, fostering a climate where victims find solace and perpetrators are held accountable, ultimately promoting healthier relationships and preventing the tragic dissolution of marriages.


By consulting one of our accredited family law mackay specialists.

Mental Health Challenges in Marriages 

Mental health challenges, notably depression and anxiety, exert a profound strain on marriages. Navigating the intricacies of such struggles within the context of a relationship underscores the need for open dialogue. Unfortunately, pervasive stigma often hinders these crucial conversations. Recognising the significance of seeking professional help becomes paramount in mitigating the toll on the marriage. Embracing support systems and therapeutic interventions fosters resilience, promoting understanding and empathy. By dismantling the stigma around mental health, couples can jointly confront challenges, fortifying their bond and creating an environment where compassion prevails over judgment, fostering the resilience needed to navigate the complexities of marriage amidst mental health struggles. Navigating Marital Conflicts through Unified Parenting Styles

Parenting Styles and Marital Conflict 

Parenting styles significantly influence marital dynamics, with divergent approaches often triggering conflicts. Disagreements commonly arise regarding discipline, educational choices, and daily routines. Navigating these challenges demands effective communication and mutual understanding. Couples can fortify their bond by cultivating a shared parenting vision, embracing compromise, and seeking professional guidance when needed. By fostering a united front, couples navigate the complexities of parenthood with resilience, ensuring their children benefit from a harmonious environment. Balancing individual parenting philosophies with collective goals strengthens marriages, fostering an atmosphere where challenges become opportunities for growth rather than sources of discord.

Coping with Long-Term Separation

Enduring prolonged physical separation tests the resilience of marriages. Emotional connection becomes paramount, necessitating intentional efforts such as regular communication and virtual closeness. Couples can navigate these challenges by establishing shared goals and maintaining trust. Strategies like virtual date nights and transparent communication help bridge the emotional gap. The prospect of reuniting after a long separation underscores the importance of patience and adaptability. While distance poses hurdles, fostering emotional intimacy and leveraging technology can strengthen the marital bond. Couples facing extended separation can emerge stronger by viewing it as an opportunity for personal growth and a testament to the enduring strength of their commitment.

Tips for a healthy relationship that may remedy divorce

Preserving healthy relationships needs time and commitment. While no relationship is flawless, relationships must contribute more happiness than stress.

Here are some tips for encouraging a healthy relationship.

  • Clarify your desires—this enables you to express yourself clearly and honestly while acknowledging the other person’s perspective. Utilise ‘I’ statements instead of critical ‘you’ statements. For instance, express, “I really dislike it when you neglect to clean up the dishes”, rather than, “You never assist me in the kitchen.”
  • Apologise when you’re wrong—This is crucial, as it helps mend relationships and strengthen them.
  • Show affection and appreciation—Relationships can become routine over time. Dedicate particular time together and continue to express your affection. Even easy gestures like cuddling on the couch after work can foster intimacy.
  • Prioritise your relationship—Balancing relationships, work, family, and friends can be challenging. Establishing a work-life balance by setting boundaries at work and learning to say ‘no’ ensures you make time for your relationship.
  • Discover shared interests—Engaging in hobbies you enjoy allows you to spend quality time together. This could be as straightforward as attending a night class together or taking up a new sport.
  • Find mutually agreeable solutions—Conflict occasionally arises in any relationship. Both parties must respect and acknowledge their differences and similarities. Discovering solutions that satisfy both parties will likely involve compromise at various times.
  • Carve out family time—Finding time together as a family can be challenging. However, even having one family meal a week allows everyone to reconnect, communicate, and bond with each other.


In wrapping up this exploration into the most common reasons for divorce in Australia, it’s clear that marriages are complex entities influenced by various factors. Recognising and addressing these challenges early on can be vital to sustaining a healthy and enduring partnership. Whether through improved communication, financial management, or seeking professional help, couples have avenues to navigate the intricate journey of marriage and build a foundation that withstands the tests of time.


By consulting one of our accredited family law mackay specialists.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1: What are the Australian legal prerequisites for filing for divorce? 

A1: In Australia, couples must separate for at least 12 months before filing for divorce. They must also provide proof that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. 

Q2: Is counselling effective in preventing divorces?

A2: Yes, counselling can effectively address issues and improve communication within a marriage, potentially preventing divorces.

Q3: How long does the divorce process take in Australia?

A3: The divorce process in Australia usually takes around four months from applying to grant the divorce order.

Q4: Can financial issues be resolved amicably during a divorce?

A4: Yes, with proper communication and potentially with the help of financial professionals, couples can resolve financial issues amicably during a divorce.

Q5: What role does mediation play in divorce proceedings?

A5: Mediation can facilitate open communication and negotiation between divorcing parties, helping them reach agreements on various aspects without going to court.

Q6: Are there support services available for individuals going through a divorce?

A6: Yes, numerous support services, including counselling, legal aid, and support groups, are available to individuals navigating the challenges of divorce.

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