White House

The 2016 presidential election was probably the most contentious in most of our lifetimes. Issues around race, religion, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation were all at one point or another at the forefront. Work colleagues, neighbors, friends and even family members found themselves on opposite sides. In some cases, relationships suffered and even ended as a result.

How Can a Combative Election Impact Your Marriage?

What about marriages? One family law attorney says, "Now that we've deemed it socially acceptable to be offensive, again, I can see a break in marital or family relationships".

He adds, however, that most married couples basically have a shared belief system. Therefore, even if they support different political parties or specific candidates, their marriages likely aren't going to end as a result. What a highly-combative, polarizing political season can do, however, is bring deeper, more serious issues in the marriage to the forefront.

The time when differences in beliefs are more likely to cause problems in a relationship is when a couple has children and they have to make decisions about the values with which they'll be raised. The attorney says that these differences are more likely to cause break-ups for non-married parents who don't live together.

How Can the Next Four Years Impact American Families?

There is still a lot of uncertainty about what the new administration holds. Changes in laws and rollbacks of executive orders issued by President Obama could impact millions of couples and families. Potential changes in rights for gay people and couples, immigrants, those of the Muslim faith and people who depend on the Affordable Card Act for their health insurance could impact family dynamics across the country.

Residual anger with your spouse because of whom he or she supported in the 2016 election shouldn't be enough in and of itself to end a marriage. However, if deep-seated political differences caused the two of you to realize that you have very different belief systems that you can't resolve on your own or with counseling, it may be time to seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney to help protect your assets and rights should you proceed to divorce.