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With economic recovery comes a new wave of divorces, study shows

For couples in Texas and beyond, the rebounding economy may be linked to higher divorce rates.
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    February 25, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- With economic recovery comes a new wave of divorces, study shows

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It is often said that money problems are a leading cause of marital distress and divorce in the United States. One may think, therefore, that the national divorce rate would have shot through the roof in recent years as families across the country grappled with the fallout of the Great Recession -- but, in fact, the opposite is true.

Divorce rates plummeted after the financial crisis struck the nation in 2008, a recent study shows. What's more, they are rising once again now that the economy is on the rebound.

Similar phenomenon observed during Great Depression

Nationwide, there were about 150,000 fewer divorces than normal between 2009 and 2011, according to Philip N. Cohen, a sociologist at University of Maryland and author of the forthcoming study, which will be published in the journal Population Research and Policy Review.

Experts say the recent trend bears some resemblance to a similar phenomenon that occurred during the Great Depression, the LA Times reported. According to sociologist Andrew Cherlin of Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. divorce rate dropped by 25 percent between 1929 and 1933, then continued to rise throughout the remainder of the decade.

The trend has been characterized by some -- including the National Marriage Project -- as something of a "silver lining" to the slow economy. Cherlin, on the other hand, argues that "financial crises change the timing of divorce" by postponing breakups rather than preventing them, the Times reported.

Reasons for trend remain uncertain

There are a number of possible explanations for the apparent correlation between divorce rates and the national economy. One potential factor could be that couples who encounter marital difficulties during times of financial distress may try to "tough it out" and see if things improve when the economy rebounds, thus creating a wave of delayed divorces that hits as the economy improves.

Another factor may be that some couples who are strapped for cash in an economic downturn may not feel they can afford to divorce until their finances are more stable. Similarly, married homeowners who wish to avoid taking a loss on the sale of their home may put off divorce in the hopes that the market will soon recover, allowing them to get a better price for the house and improve their chances of a favorable property settlement.

Talk to a lawyer when considering divorce

Regardless of the circumstances, divorce can have a major impact on the finances and long-term plans of both spouses. If you are considering divorce, be sure to get advice from an experienced family law attorney who can help you weigh your options and plan a course action with your best interests in mind.

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