Getting divorced is a highly personal decision that only the two people in a marriage can make. However, there are many other parties who can play a role in the demise of a relationship.

And just as these people affected a couple’s relationship, they can also affect the divorce process. Below we explain how this can happen.

  • Other romantic partners — Infidelity is one of the most common reasons people divorce, according to a recent poll. When someone has another partner or partners, the divorce process can be especially contentious. These outside parties can make it impossible for spouses to divorce amicably due to loss of trust and anger issues. Further, having another relationship already can give a person a (perhaps false) sense of security that the other party does not have.
  • Business partners — In some cases, a business partner or boss has a role in the end of a marriage. He or she may be too demanding of time, or encouraging and supportive of unwise financial decisions, leading to a strained marital relationship. This can make money talks very difficult and complicated. Divorcing spouses may need to refer to outside help to sort through finances and business details.
  • Family members and friends — The people in a personal network can influence a person greatly before and during a divorce. They may offer advice, encourage certain behaviors and provide an outlet that could make it easier for a person to end a marriage. However, despite their best intentions, their help may not always be helpful during a divorce. In some cases, they can give unsound legal guidance or be bad influences on a person, which can make the divorce process more contentious than perhaps it needs to be.

Every person should take responsibility and ownership of their own actions. However, there are people who can have a dramatic impact on the way we act and the things we want during difficult times, like divorce.

Keep in mind, though, that any agreements or orders in your divorce will need to be in your best interests. You will be the person affected by the outcome, so it is crucial to keep ill-informed or unhelpful outside influences in check during the process.