When you hear about the leading causes for divorce, you likely hear about things like financial disagreements or infidelity. Certainly, these things do cause a lot of divorces, but it’s also important to know that illness and sickness can lead to a marital split — and some sources list them as a leading cause.

There are a few reasons for this. To start with, sickness puts stress on the couple that they never had to deal with before. Stress from any source can lead to a divorce as it breaks down the relationship.

Another issue is the mounting debt of medical bills. Medical care is incredibly expensive in the United States, and unexpected costs can put people in so much debt they may never get out of it. Again, debt from any source is tough on a marriage, and overwhelming medical debt — one of the top reasons for bankruptcy — is no exception.

Beyond that, the relationship may not be the same when one person gets sick. If the illness is bad enough, the spouse could feel forced to take care of them. This can be an overwhelming chore. It can make them feel less romantically linked and more like a nurse and a patient. While they may do it for a time, they may feel unfulfilled by this and eventually decide to move on with their life. It’s a tough reality with long-term sickness.

No matter why you are getting divorced, just make sure you take the time to look into all of your legal options. You need to know what steps to take and what rights you have.