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Although there will always be several reasons for divorce, these are 5 examples of common actions taken by a spouse which cause the other spouse to decide enough is enough:

1. They start investing all/most of their money in their new girlfriend/boyfriend instead

Adultery is a common issue, particularly when your spouse begins neglecting you and the children to give extravagant gifts to their lover or try to funnel funds or assets to them in anticipation of a divorce to prejudice you.

No joke, we had a matter where the husband was paying tens of thousands to their girlfriend each month (in addition to luxurious gifts and lingerie).

2. They drive themselves or both of you into debt or spend money recklessly, expecting you to bail them out each time

If you are married in community of property, you have a joint estate where you share not only all the assets but also all the debts. It can be an alarming wake-up call when you find out that your spouse has been secretly racking up debt, especially if they have been fraudulently forging your signature along the way,

Even out of community of property spouses run into this issue where the other spouse goes into serious debt, jeopardising the financial security of the family unit, but expects you to come to the rescue. Gambling addictions and reckless spending often work this way, with the expectation being that even if they run out that you will provide.

3. They are so miserly/selfish that they neglect their obligations for spousal/child maintenance

Whether they are hoarding their funds for themselves or just refuse to contribute to the family unit, there are unfortunately many situations where you are the one expected to take on the entire burden of covering all the month to month expenses for yourself and the children without any contribution being made by your spouse.

We have also had many disturbing situations where a spouse spends exorbitant amounts of money on themselves, treating themselves to expensive dinners and luxury items almost daily while refusing to pay a cent for their spouse or children.

In these situations, the miserly/selfish spouse usually earns far more than the person being forced to work out how to meet all the monthly maintenance needs.

4. They are so financially controlling that the marriage becomes intolerable

This usually affects women in single-income households, where their spouse has all the say as to what purchases can be made and what access you can have to the finances, leading to a situation where you are under the whims of that spouse.

This often overlaps with the miserly/selfish spouse mentioned above, but the key distinguishing feature here is that there is an expectation that you must ask for permission all the time and whatever they say goes.

5. They stole your own money/assets

Some people combine all of some of their assets, or allow for joint access to a banking account, or operate a joint business/trust. Then suddenly you discover that your spouse has helped themself to the cookie jar, even if you were the one to contribute everything or most of everything to it.

These matters usually involve disputes about who owns what, with them claiming that they are actually entitled to whatever they took even if it is rightfully yours.

You should always have any decisions made about how you two will administer any funds/assets/business/trust into an actual contractual agreement so that there cannot be any confusion down the line as to what was agreed.

Author – Murray Taylor

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