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Recession saw fewer divorces

Many couples in Colorado have been hit hard by the economic troubles of the past five years. A recent study from Marquette University suggests that the recession may have actually kept some of those couples together. The study concludes that during the economic downturn that began in 2008, many couples postponed divorce, as houses and other marital property lost their value.

The study found that the U.S. divorce rate decreased during the recession. When the economy began its slow recovery the following year, the divorce rate began to go up again. Data also show that the divorce rate from was higher for couples with more disposable income in the years 1978 to 2009.

The author of the study believes that the stress caused by a recession actually makes couples more likely to want divorce, but at the same time puts divorce out of reach financially for many people. The recession brought higher unemployment and reduced the value of assets, which caused many couples to put off divorce.

But the fact that divorce is beyond a couple's means doesn't mean they want it any less. As if to confirm this, once the economy began to improve and there was more money in couples' bank accounts, the pent up demand for divorce began to be released.

The decision to divorce is never an easy one to make. The process can be expensive, but couples can save money by working with each other to reduce conflicts in the process. Reaching agreement on potentially divisive issues like property division, child custody and child support can greatly reduce the expense of divorce. Divorce mediation is an alternative that can also take much of the conflict out of the process.

Source: WUWM - Milwaukee, "Marquette Study: Fewer Divorces During the Recession," Nov. 12, 2012 

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