For many people, divorce happens slowly, a process that takes time. The relationship slowly erodes until the couple realizes it is just not working anymore.

For others, though, a specific life event derails their marriage and leads to divorce. This may be simply because of the stress that event puts on the marriage. The divorce may not happen immediately, but people can look back and pinpoint the one event that started them down this path.

Below are five such events:

  1. Losing a job. This puts a lot of financial strain on the family, especially if only one person worked.
  2. Getting sick. Chronic illnesses can be very difficult to battle through, especially when one spouse essentially becomes the other’s caretaker.
  3. Living in different locations. This issue is often cited by professional mountaineers, for instance, since they have to spend months on expeditions. It may feel exciting and exotic at first, but it can wear on the marriage when the couple just doesn’t get time together.
  4. Having children. You never want to tell your children that they are the reason for your divorce, but the reality is that childbirth can change your relationship and your family dynamics considerably.
  5. Watching the kids move out. In contrast to the above, some couples feel like they have a closer bond as a family with kids in the house. When they become empty-nesters, they feel like they just do not have that much in common anymore.

These are just five examples. They by no means represent all of the reasons that a marriage may end, but they do help you see that divorce can happen to anyone. If you’re contemplating a divorce, make sure that you know your legal rights.