Mirroring the trajectory of our economy, the national divorce rate hit a 40-year low in 2009, but has since gone up for the three following years, reaching a total of 2.4 million divorces in 2012. According to Bloomberg News, this upward trend will continue, and is attributable to a brighter economic outlook across America.
Merely a few years ago, experts on marriage had been celebrating the shrinking divorce rate as a “silver lining” to the Great Recession which had otherwise been bringing pain to American families. However now, as the economy improves, more and more unhappily married couples are feeling increasingly confident with taking risks and are choosing to split.
A University of Arizona study published in 2012 focused on the correlation between the economy and family ties. The study concluded that the nationwide divorce rate falls 1.7 percent for every one percent rise in the unemployment rate. After the crash, the year 2009 saw a drop in the annual divorce rate from 2.09% to 1.95% among married women. A parallel phenomenon happened in the 30’s during the Great Depression when many Americans were priced out of obtaining a divorce. But now the tide is turning as the divorce rate among married women grew to 1.98% in 2010, and remained that high in 2011.
Along with relatively greater financial security comes the opportunity to make big changes, whether because people can now afford to litigate, or simply because now they can finally find a job and support themselves. It seems that many couples have been weighing their options. The amount of couples putting off divorce is not negligible, according to another study from the University of Maryland. This study, connecting breakups and the economic cycle, estimated that 150,000 divorces were postponed or avoided from 2009 to 2011.
However, this greater freedom to choose is not all good news. Divorce can have a significant financial impact on its participants, particularly women. Divorced women see their per capita household incomes drop by 15 percent, and they are statistically more likely to be working or looking for work than their married counterparts. Often, these unsettling outcomes are due to child care expenses falling unequally on the shoulders of newly single women rather than their ex-husbands.
Contact an Indiana Divorce Attorney
No matter for what reason you have postponed a divorce, if you are unhappy, and believe the time for change is now, make that change in the most sensible way possible. Speak with an experienced and professional divorce attorney who knows the ropes. Don’t expose yourself to unnecessary risk; instead, contact Christopher L. Arrington, a skilled Indiana divorce, family law and child custody lawyer.
By Christopher L Arrington