According to census data, the average time that first marriages last is about eight years for people who divorce. This number can be a reflection of the so-called “seven-year-itch,” which is a phenomenon that reflects the belief that marital happiness declines around the seventh year.
If you have been married for about seven years and are divorcing, there may be some unique circumstances to consider as you navigate this process.
Personal feelings and emotions
Some researchers believe there are some commonalities among people who divorce around the seventh year of marriage. For instance, you may be more likely to:
- Have young children
- Be experiencing changes in your personal life
- Be focusing on your career
- Feel restless and unfulfilled
- Have or be affected by extramarital relationships
If one or more of these sounds like what you are going through, then there are some things you might expect from the divorce process.
Often, people in these situations can work through divorce-related matters in mediation without too much contention. They may need to hire financial professionals to help with appraising and categorizing property for the purposes of dividing assets. Parents in this position typically share parenting time and decision-making responsibilities.
How these divorces differ from others
Very short marriages and very long marriages often have unique circumstances that affect a divorce. For instance, spousal support may not be an issue after short marriages and child custody may not be a concern for people divorcing after decades of marriage.
When marriages end after seven or eight years, the divorce can also involve unique circumstances. At this point, parties generally have more issues to deal with, including spousal support, child custody and division of both assets and debts. In these situations, the parties have been married long enough to build a life, family and wealth but not so long that they are entirely dependent on each other.
Divorce after any number of years is complicated and emotional. However, if you are divorcing due to the seven-year-itch, knowing what you might expect from the process can help you prepare accordingly.