Separation is often the first step for many married couples that decide they no longer want to be together. After a separation period, some couples may reconcile while most divorce. However, a new study reveals that 15 percent of separations don’t lead to either reconciliation or a divorce within 10 years. The cause for this extreme long-term separation often comes down to one issue, a lack of finances.


Researchers from Ohio State examined 7,272 people that participated in the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth that were married at some point. The researchers examined their responses through 2008 and determined that approximately 80 percent of married couples that went through a separation ended up divorcing.


Only five percent of separated couples reconciled but a surprising 15 percent did not divorce or reconcile within 10 years of their separation.


According to Dmitry Tumin, a co-author of the study, “Long-term separation seems to be the low-cost, do-it-yourself alternative to divorce for many disadvantaged couples.”


The couples that never proceeded beyond separation were typically lower-income, with less education and young children; these couples often viewed separation as the best choice even though it wasn’t the preferred choice.


Obviously personal finance issues can impact a marriage but it looks like it can also have a significant impact on how a marriage ends. Finances can determine whether a marriage comes to an official end via a divorce or simply an end to the physical and emotional relationship through an extended long-term separation.

Long-term separation tied to finances
A lack of financial resources is tied to long-term separations without hope of reconciliation.