How the Economy May Impact Divorce in Washington and Around the U.S.

Posted on Feb 19, 2014

A new study that will soon be published in Population Research and Policy Review looked at the impact the Great Recession had on divorce rates in the United States.

A Look at the Numbers

According to the study:

  • There were about 150,000 fewer divorces from 2009 – 2011 than researchers would have expected.
  • From 2008 to 2009, the divorce rate among married women dropped from 2.09 percent to 1.95 percent.
  • In 2010 and 2011, the divorce rate among married women was 1.98 percent.

Researchers claim that this is similar to what happened to U.S. divorce rates during the Great Depression. Divorce rates fell in the 1930s. While more research is needed to determine why there seems to be a correlation between the economy and divorce rates, some researchers theorize that couples simply don’t have the economic ability to divorce during a tough economy. They believe that a poor economy affects when a couple may divorce rather than whether a couple will divorce.

More Research May Be Necessary

It is important to be cautious about the findings of this study which seemingly conflict with findings of other studies. For example, other studies have shown that unemployment has no effect on divorce rates but that foreclosures do increase divorce rates.

It can be hard to know when, and if, the time is right to get a divorce in Washington, or anywhere in the United States. Our Washington divorce lawyers wish every couple facing this hard choice the best of luck in making the right decisions for their family.

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