You may have heard the numbers but how often are we told the reasons that some couples just don’t make it? Divorce is something that we never plan on but it is a very real possibility. From irrevocable differences to infidelity and more, there are various reasons that can lead to the dissolution of a marriage.

Keep reading to learn the most commonly cited reasons for divorce in South Africa. If you’re here to find out more about getting a divorce or you just want to know what your options are, get in touch with the Law Offices of Karen Olivier. Now, onto the reasons.

Cultural or Religious Differences

South Africa is proudly known as the rainbow nation and so it boasts a myriad of couples joining together. Unfortunately, there are times where couples of different cultural or religious backgrounds may at first make the decision to set aside the expectations of familial obligations and traditions. The effect this can have is that it causes resentment later on. Further strain on the relationship may arise if children are involved because each parent wants to pass on their own traditions.

Communication Barriers

A lack of or poor communication can be cited as the top cause for marital breakdowns. Communication is such a fundamental part of any relationship that without it, a relationship can be doomed to fail. An important distinction is understanding that good communication doesn’t automatically mean always agreeing with your spouse. It’s about finding a middle ground and compromising.

Financial Issues

Marriages can take strain when a couple is struggling financially. It is difficult to always agree on monetary issues. When these go unresolved, it can cause stress on the relationship.

Sexual Dissatisfaction

What some couples do not prepare for is how a relationship will change as the marriage progresses. Life events like births, career changes and health challenges can change the dynamics of a sexual relationship. If one spouse is not feeling physically fulfilled, he/she may stray. In plenty of cases, sexual incompatibility leads to divorce.


The previous reason can lead to this one but we feel that this deserves its own spot on this list as there are various reasons that a spouse cheats. Infidelity undermines the root of the relationship, trust, and violates the boundaries a pair agrees to when they enter into a marriage.


Addiction of any kind is where one spouse is forced to take and take from the union until there is nothing left. It is a disease that throws life out of balance the worse it gets which inevitably puts strain on those closest to you.

Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse is something that South Africans are no strangers to. It is one of our most common reasons for divorce. It happens among various demographics and it comes in different forms.

Are you looking for a divorce lawyer? Contact The Law Offices of Karen Olivier, a law firm in Durban you can rely on.