Divorce rates fell significantly when the Great Recession hit around 2009. So did couples come together in the midst of a financial crisis?
Not likely. As the economic recovery has continued the number of divorces have started to rise again. According to the Los Angeles Times about 150,000 fewer divorces occurred between 2009 and 2011 than was anticipated.
Divorce rates began gradually falling in 2007. A study done by Marquette University showed when the economy fell the rate of divorces among married women decreased from 17.5 per 1,000 in 2007 to 16.9 per 1,000 in 2008.
Research around the exact reason for the fall isn’t conclusive, but the Times reported that it seemed unemployment may have been a factor among recent college graduates that were married. However, the divorce rate rose among couples in the same age group when facing a home foreclosure.
Other research shows that couples waited for the economy to pick up before diving into a possibly expensive divorce settlement. A survey by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia suggested that economic hardship could strengthen a marriage.
The survey said about 29 percent of American couples between the ages of 18 and 45 reported that the recession “deepened” the commitment in their marriage. About 38 percent of couples in the same age bracket said they decided to put their divorce on hold during the recession.
As the economy has started to recover the divorce rate has seen a significant uptick. A Washington, D.C.-based attorney told NPR that business has seen a 20 to 25 percent increase at the beginning of 2011.
One of the reasons could also be attributed to selling off assets. A struggling economy isn’t as conducive to selling off a home or other valuables. However, as the recovery continues, those same possessions become easier to unload and easier to split up.
For more information on divorce, please feel free to contact The Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler in Rockford, IL at 815-981-4859 for a free consultation. Please note, the above does not constitute legal advice. Please discuss your specific rights with an attorney in your own jurisdiction.
Sources: Star Tribune, “Study: Divorce rate fell fast when recession hit,” Adam Belz, Nov. 12, 2012
Huffington Post, “Recession Divorce Rates: Marital Unions Unraveling As Economy Bounces Back?” Amy Lee, Feb. 11, 2011.
Los Angeles Times, “Divorces rise as economy recovers, study finds,” Emily Alpert Reyes, Jan. 27, 2014.