The Great Recession began in 2008. And from 2008 to the summer of 2009, consensus data shows that U.S. divorce rates plummeted. In fact, according to information from the National Center for Health Statistics, divorce rates were at an all-time historical 40 year low in 2009. But, starting in 2010, the divorce rates began to rise. In 2012, there were almost 2.5 million that occurred in the U.S.
So why did divorce rates decrease during the recession? What’s the correlation?
One reason could be that many people felt that during the recession they just couldn’t afford to. The chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders in the state of Washington points out that separations and divorces often mean that there will be two households. Many couples, particularly those with a stay-at-home parent who takes care of the children, simply can’t afford to pay for two households when the economy is so unstable or the unemployment rate is high.
Another reason people may have refrained from seeking a divorce during the recession was because of the collapse of the housing market. During the Great Recession, foreclosures were at an all-time high. Home values decreased and many people found themselves with underwater mortgages. Without the inability to get out from a mortgage that couples owed more on than their homes were worth, they likely felt trapped and stayed in the marriage.
Yet another reason less divorces occurred during the economic downturn could be attributed to business sales.
Case in point
Bloomberg recently reported a story about a couple who owned and operated a business together. The couple was married for over 30 years, but continued to stay in the marriage during the recession because their business was struggling.
“We couldn’t afford to split,” they both stated.
Today, their business is on the upswing now that the economy has progressed. The couple feels that since sales have improved, they are more confident in moving forward with their divorce.
Speaking with a divorce lawyer
It seems that when the economy isn’t so dire or unpredictable, individuals have more confidence to separate.
However, whether the economy is prosperous or uncertain, individuals considering a divorce should always seek the assistance of a family law attorney. An attorney can offer advice and cost effective solutions as it pertains to individual situations.