Economic factors play a role in divorce decisions

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Thursday, November 15, 2012.

The economy has an impact not only on our wallets, but also sometimes on our decision to stay in our marriages. In fact, a recent study from Marquette University found that divorce rates actually decreased in the early years of the recession. However, now as the economy has started to rebound, there has been an increase in the divorce rate.

So just why is this?

According to the author of the study, “Til Recession Do Us Part: Boom, Busts, and Divorce in the United States,” financial constraints — such as high unemployment rates and a reduction in the actual value of marital assets — led to many people putting off divorce during the early years of the recession.

Looking at the data, in 2005 the divorce rate was 16.4 per 1,000 married women. Two years later, the rate jumped to 17.5 per 1,000 married women. However, in 2008 — a year after the recession started — the rate fell to 16.9 per 1,000 married women.

Outside of having to stick together for financial reasons, the recession also caused many couples to separate, yet still live together. For many this was due to the fact that home values significantly dropped. Additionally, whether a couple owns or rents, one household is always cheaper than two.

However, now with the economy slowly starting to get better, the divorce rate is once again increasing. This means that many couples who were just barely making as a couple — or were purposely waiting until the economy got better — have now gone ahead and filed for divorce.

In Missouri, like in any state, whether the country is in a recession or the economy is doing great, keep in mind that divorce can still have financial repercussions. This is why it’s a good idea to seek out legal representation before making any divorce settlement decisions.

Source: Star Tribune, “Study: Divorce rate fell fast when recession hit,” Adam Belz, Nov. 12, 2012

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