Over the last year, multiple studies have focused on the factors that most commonly lead couples in the U.S. to divorce. While some of these studies seem to confirm what many people may have guessed, others show that divorce can occur due to unexpected issues.

First, one recent study, authored by researchers at the University of Buffalo, indicates that a difference in drinking habits between spouses can be a significant factor in divorce. Of the 634 couples involved in the long-term study, 50 percent of those where one spouse drank and the other did not filed for divorce. However, only 30 percent of couples where both spouses had similar drinking habits eventually filed for divorce. This is interesting because it indicates that the difference in drinking habits is the primary cause of friction in relationships, not drinking itself.

Second, a psychology professor from DePauw University found that he was able to predict a person’s likelihood of divorce by looking at his or her high school yearbook photo. Specifically, those who smiled in photos throughout their early and teenage years were more likely to be in lasting marriages. Those who did not smile consistently were far more likely to file for divorce at some point in their lives. Overall, those who did not smile in their high school senior yearbook photo were about five times more likely to become divorced.

Third, researchers in Sweden discovered that couples with long commutes to work were more likely to divorce than those with shorter commutes. Specifically, those with a one-way commute of 45 minutes or longer were far more likely to divorce after being married for only a short time. Surprisingly, couples that had remained together for five years or more despite a long commute to work were only about one percent more likely to divorce than couples with short commutes.

Of course, though researchers may identify specific factors that can lead to a greater incidence of divorce among some couples, each relationship is unique and couples choose to go their separate ways for a variety of reasons. If you are considering divorce or separation from your spouse, it is a good idea to speak to an experienced divorce lawyer. A knowledgeable divorce attorney can provide you with information about what to expect in the divorce process, issues to consider and which steps to take next. For more information, do not hesitate to speak to an attorney today.