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Are More Divorces to Come? As the Economy Continues to Recover, Many Predict the Divorce Rate Will Climb

At first glance, it appears to run contrary to logic. We have all likely heard that finances are the number one cause of divorce. It is easy to assume, based on this well known truth, that divorce rates would be their highest in a down economy. However, a recent study reveals the opposite to be accurate. Divorce predictors now divine that as the economy continues to gain strong footing and proceed along the path to recovery, the number of divorces each year will actually increase.

Here is a look at the reasons behind the rise in divorces at a time when the economy overall is improving:

  • Falling house prices, high rates of unemployment, and rising inflation may have put a strain on the relationship - For some couples, the recent recession and ensuing housing crisis caused a breakdown of their relationship. Financial troubles are a main cause of divorce, and in the economic upheaval likely left many marriages in shambles. Despite agreement between the parties that the marriage was over, many spouses put off filing for divorce for the reason discussed in number two below.
  • The poor economy forced couples to stay together - During the hard economic times, many couples elected to stay together not out of love, but because they could not afford to do otherwise. Many Florida families were and still are struggling with underwater mortgages and joblessness. Traditionally, a couple’s home is one of the largest assets to divide. With plunging home values, divorcing during the housing crisis would have left many individuals with a significant financial loss. Further, if one or more spouse was out of work, it took both spouses working together to provide for the basic needs of themselves and their children. Finally, many couples simply could not afford the expense of a divorce during the recession period. Accordingly, the recent housing crisis and economic downturn likely forced numerous unhappy couples to stay together.
  • As the economy recovers, people can again afford to divorce - The recession pushed many couples to desire a divorce, the downed economy forced spouses to stay married, and today’s improving economy and housing market has provided spouses with the financial stability they need to seek the divorce they have been putting off. As the Florida housing market and housing markets throughout the country continue to rise, couples can once again count on their home as a major source of marital assets. The rate of joblessness has decreased, leaving many spouses feeling confident enough to enter the job market on their own. Further, many couples can now afford the cost of a divorce. More and more, spouses are turning to uncontested divorce as a means of obtaining a relatively inexpensive, quick, and simplified divorce.

For these reasons, many researchers and divorce lawyers across the country predict that the coming years will see a rise in the number of divorces. This phenomenon is not unique to the U.S. In Britain, divorce rates reached new lows in 2008, a time when the country’s economy was in the midst of a financial crisis. Upon recovery, divorce rates soared.

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