Lisa M. Dugoni A.P.C.

Will Improvements In The Economy Increase The Divorce Rate?

The Great Recession stressed and broke many individuals, families and businesses — historically, divorce rates decline during hard economic times. Is it possible that an economic upswing can fuel an increase in divorce in this country?

While noting the overall uneven quality of statistics on divorce rates, the Pew Research Center cites findings that divorces could have declined during the early part of the recession and increased as the recession eased. Another study by The National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia found that financial hardships, while permanently driving down marital satisfaction in many cases, strengthened the marital bonds of other couples.

How do hard economic times affect the divorce rate?

Couples unhappy with their marriage prior to the recession may have found themselves unable to afford to divorce when housing prices fell and the cost of doing business rose. As credit markets tightened, the possibility of buying a spouse out of a house, or a business, became difficult. As a primary investment, loss of value on a residence left little equity to divide. Some reasons to hold off on a divorce during an economic downturn include:

  • Less money from assets for both parties
  • Permanency of financial agreements made during divorce
  • Devalued investment and retirement accounts
  • Hardships of unemployment during divorce

Another pressing condition of divorce is the provision of health insurance if one partner relied on the other for their coverage.

The Affordable Health Care Act and the divorce rate

A study from the University of Michigan suggests that approximately 115,000 women lose their health insurance due to divorce each year. Of those, 65,000 lose health insurance completely after divorce. With the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the possibility of obtaining affordable health insurance may remove an obstacle that kept couples — or women — from pursuing a divorce.

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of divorces nationwide declined between 2007 and 2009 and has increased since. While improving economic conditions may have eased money woes in some households, it made divorce more accessible in others.

If you are considering divorce, speak with a skilled attorney in San Mateo, California to review your case.


One Comment

  1. Posted June 29, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Great post.

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