Lawyer Monthly - December 2022

One of the most frequent questions family law attorneys get asked is “What is the number one reason why people divorce?” While impossible to pin down one root cause, in my experience as a family law attorney, I have found that the main culprit is often a growing divide when it comes to lifestyle choices. Lifestyle choices can encompass everything from parenting styles to financial spending. In recent years, though, a new divisive factor has come to the surface – one that, prior to 2016, we as family law attorneys rarely encountered: differing political beliefs and ideologies. America has grown more and more polarised as a nation; our homes are no exception. It is rare to find an individual who does not have firmly rooted political beliefs these days, and it is equally rare to find someone who has not butted heads with a close friend or family member regarding these beliefs. This has spilled over into our marriages. In fact, new data from Wakefield Research has found that one in ten couples, married and not, have ended their relationships in a battle over political differences; for younger millennials, it is 22%. But how do differences in political ideology translate into a reason to divorce? Well, take the issue of COVID-19 vaccination, for instance. Prior to 2020, individuals with strong opinions when it came to vaccinating their children tended to marry other like-minded individuals. However, the number of parents who chose not to vaccinate their children was relatively small in comparison to those who did, hence this issue was not a huge 38 LAWYERMONTHLYDECEMBER 2022 Special Feature Divorce rates are on the rise in the US and internationally, with a myriad of root causes. A relatively new stated motivation for couples to divorce, however, is an irreconcilable difference in political ideology. Family law attorney and mediator Tenny Amin explores this new phenomenon and what it means for the US social landscape. Is Political Ideology Now a Leading Cause of Divorce?

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