Divorce initiation – Who initiates divorce more often?

who initiates a divorce

Divorcing a partner can be one of the most difficult times in a person’s life. It doesn’t matter the sex of the person as both men and women will lose through a divorce and to someone going through a divorce for the first time they may have many questions.

  • How will a divorce affect me financially? Divorces can be costly from a financial point of view so this can be a genuine worry of someone looking to get divorced.
  • How will a divorce affect my children? Parents often worry about how their children will be affected by a divorce.
  • Where will I store my furniture when we sell the home? Moving from your home into a new one can take time.  Moving home, in general, can be a stressful time in someone’s life so adding divorce on top can be worrying.
  • What items can I take from the home? Knowing what items you can take from the home can also be confusing.
  • Who gets to keep the home during a divorce? Usually, your assets will be split 50/50 but not every situation is the same.
  • Will I be happy after a divorce? Being unhappy in a marriage is a good reason for divorce, but many people still worry they may be unhappier alone.
  • (See more divorce FAQ’s here)

As you can see for both sides there are uncertainties and getting a divorce is a huge step in a relationship.  

Given the uncertainty that comes with a divorce, it may shock you to see who initiates divorce the most often.

Who initiates divorce more often? 

who initiates divorce more often

Women initiate divorce the most often. The wife will initiate a divorce 70% of the time according to a study carried out by Stanford University. While in the UK the office of national statistics show that 62% of divorces were initiated by the wife.

Why Do Women Initiate Divorce More Than Men?

The study looked at 2000 adults between the ages of 19 and 94 and found that a lack of equality in a relationship was one of the deciding factors for getting a divorce.

Other contributing factors included:

  • Infidelity.
  • Emotional abuse.
  • Physical Abuse.
  • Lack of communication.

Professional women who are career-driven are also far more likely to file for a divorce as women are usually seen as the centre for emotional support for a family. If you add to this a hectic work life and a hectic family life you can see that pressure is put onto a woman and if the woman thinks their husband isn’t pulling their weight it can soon cause conflict at home.

Husbands aren’t aware there is a problem.

Women are far more likely to initiate a divorce because they are more emotionally aware whereas husbands often don’t know there is a problem in the first place.

Both parties here are to blame because of the lack of communication in a relationship. The lack of intimacy that this can cause can also cause people to cheat and as private investigators in London who get hired by spouses to catch cheating partners we see this all of the time.

Women want to be financially secure

One of the main reasons women initiate divorce more often than men is down to financial security. This doesn’t have to mean earnings either it could be that the husband is spending too much money on things the wife doesn’t agree on such as:

  • Alcohol.
  • Drugs
  • Gambling

The woman feels the husband isn’t giving her enough attention

One of the main excuses used for cheating is that a woman doesn’t feel as if their husband is giving them enough attention at home or isn’t providing them with enough intimacy.

This can be difficult for men as statistically, they are going to work longer hours and travel further away from the home to work too.


There is no one reason why men and women get divorced but from the studies carried out, you can see that women initiate divorces at a higher level than men.

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