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Why do so many professional athletes divorce?

If you pay much attention to news about professional athletes, you probably realize that many of your favorite pros -- of any sport -- end up divorced.

There are likely some common underlying reasons for the marital discord among athletes:

  • The athlete has to focus so hard on his or her professional skills that it may leave little time to focus on a marriage.
  • There's a tremendous amount of public pressure on athletes to be at the top of their form every single game. The stress may translate into anxiety, anger, depression or other emotional problems that end up affecting their marriage.
  • Some spouses of professional athletes may not be prepared for the intrusive nature of the media into their family lives. That could create unnecessary conflict.
  • Spouses may also not be very accepting of fans who throw themselves at professional athletes -- if a spouse has any trust issues with the professional athlete, that could be an explosive issue.
  • Actual infidelity is often an issue. Athletes can be susceptible to all of the fame and adoration that goes along with being a big star -- so they sometimes opt for the fantasy fling instead of the often humdrum realities of married life.
  • The travel required by the professional athletes job may be hard on his or her family -- especially if there are young children in the mix.

It's estimated that 85 percent of professional athletes will end up divorced -- some of them multiple times over. Divorce is not only an expensive process, it depletes what the athlete may have saved or built up over his or her career -- if he or she has succumbed to the temptation of spending money as fast as it comes in, there's a good possibility that the athlete's post-career will find him or her broke.

What's the best way to protect yourself if you're heading to a divorce? Whether you're the professional athlete or the athlete's spouse, it's important to get an attorney who can handle a high-asset divorce with an eye toward the future.

Source: www.divorcesaloon.com, "When Athletes Get Divorced: Sports Stars' Splits are Pricey," accessed Aug. 10, 2017

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