Washington Post: Recession Means Couples Waiting To Divorce
Is divorce a luxury? In some cases, couples have put off ending their relationships to focus on paying their mortgage or getting their kids to college. Many with strained finances are opting to live on separate floors and wait a year or two before legally severing their tie. Many law offices report that one out of four couples are living together as they wait for their divorce to go through in order to save money.
In 2008, there were 20,000 fewer divorces, with only 838,000 divorce cases in court. While the tough economy should increase the number of divorces – financial strain and money problems are the number one cause for divorce – the rate of divorces has decreased. Many states require months or a year of separation before a divorce, which can be a considerable financial strain. However, some experts say that many families may be putting differences aside in order to fight together against hard times, upside-down mortgages, and layoffs.
This pattern reflects a similar pattern seen during the Great Depression: divorce rates fell during hard times and then increased as the country recovered. For now, divorces may be “backlogged” until better times.
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