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The simplicity of the legal process of marriage belies the complexities that can be involved in marital dissolution. A Massachusetts couple need only be 18 years old and receive a license before they may permissibly tie the knot. Contrast this with ending a relationship with divorce where the issues of property division and child custody could become contested and fought over, and it seems clear that marriage should be entered into only with forethought and an eye to the future. The reason why many marriages fail, therefore, seems somewhat surprising.

While some people approach marriage with a more romanticized vision of life together than others, most would agree they have found a lifelong partner to share their life with. Of course, as family relationship experts point out, a marriage could be placed in serious jeopardy by an unexpected turn of events that destroys trust and completely changes the dynamic. Infidelity, substance abuse or domestic violence are some examples of issues that may be too devastating to work through.

However, a large percentage of marriages that don’t work out are the result of a lack of commitment from one spouse or both. A spouse must fill many roles, such as lover, friend and companion. Sometimes, the reality of what that means over the long term can be underestimated when the relationship is fresh.

There are many reasons a marriage may not work out. Under the circumstances, ending it may simply be the best option for all concerned. A family law attorney may offer counsel and advice on the legal rights and responsibilities of each party as the couple moves toward a new beginning.