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Divorce rate increases as economy improves

Most Colorado residents know that not all marriages last forever. Before they unbind the ties that they willingly made at one time, many spouses try to fix their marriages by undergoing counseling. Some spouses, though, simply cannot fix what is broken and thus opt for divorce.

Spouses seek divorce for a variety of reasons, but a new study is showing that an improving economy is becoming a factor again. According to a study to be published in Population Research and Policy Review, a University of Maryland sociologist says divorce rates declined during the recession, beginning in 2008, because increasing numbers of couples could not afford to file for divorce and felt threatened by the rising levels of unemployment. As the economy has rebounded, the expert says, spouses who stuck together during the crisis now may be seeking divorce.

Based on data from the previous decade, experts were expecting an estimated 150,000 divorces from 2008 to 2011, but instead saw a four percent decline in their numbers. The study added that the divorce rates per 1,000 married women dropped from 20.9 percent in 2008 to 19.5 percent in 2009. The correlation between economic conditions and the divorce rate seems significant; in 2010, the year in which the economy started to improve, the divorce rate increased to 19.8 percent.

Whatever the reasons that lead to it, a divorce is better than staying in a failed marriage because everyone involved - spouses and children - can only get hurt in an already-broken relationship. If the costs of the legal process prevent someone from getting out of a marriage, then alternative options may be available that are cheaper than standard litigation.

Regardless of whether a divorce follows a traditional or an alternative path, issues such as alimony, property division, child support and child custody must be thoroughly discussed beforehand.

Source: Huffington Post, "New study says divorce rates will increase as economy recovers," Taryn Hillin, Jan. 28, 2014

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