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Study Links Bad Economy to Lower Divorce Rates. but Why?

A study, soon to be published in Population Research and Policy Review-an an online journal that offers data on population research-indicates that the number of U.S. divorces directly correlate to the prosperity of the U.S. economy. It seems couples refrain from seeking a divorce during bad economic times.

Specifics of the study

Researchers analyzed data from 2008 to 2011-the main timeframe of the Great Recession.

From 2008-2009-when the Great Recession initially hit the U.S. economy-the divorce rate dropped from 2.09 percent to 1.95 percent. Then, from 2010-2011 as the economy started to rebound, the divorce rate increased to 1.98 percent.

According to a sociologist from the University of Maryland, this shows that individuals obtain divorces based on how well the U.S. economy is doing.

Another sociologist from Johns Hopkins University seemingly agrees. “This is exactly what happened in the 1930s. The divorce rate dropped [as well] during the Great Depression,” he said.

But why? Did people somehow reconciliation during hard times?

Reasons behind the theory

The Johns Hopkins Sociologist indicates that the divorce rate decreased “not because people were happier with their marriages, but because they couldn’t afford to get divorced.”

This is understandable because many divorces can be very costly. Individuals likely believe that when money is tight or a member of the household is unemployed-like when the economy is struggling-people may believe that they can’t afford to get divorced and are stuck in the marriage until the situation improves.

Alternative dispute resolution

However, it’s important for married individuals contemplating divorce that the process doesn’t have to be costly. It’s likely true that there are certain factors that will increase the cost of certain divorces. For instance, if a couple has a large estate with complex assets, or there’s an extremely hostile situation, the cost may increase because of the difficulty of working everything out. But, finding the right divorce attorney who can assess the situation and find cost-saving avenues is essential. This is advised when the economy is prospering, faltering, or descending.

Alternative dispute resolution may be one such cost-effective solution for couples wishing to save money in their divorce. Collaboration and mediation are the two main methods.

Understanding collaboration

In collaboration, each party retains a separate attorney and all four parties work together to resolve the marital issues. All collaboration is done outside the courtroom-thus reducing the expensive costs of litigation. Additionally, the process allows the parties to work at their own pace.

Understanding mediation

In mediation, a neutral third-party, known as a divorce mediator, facilitates the negotiation process between the divorcing parties and helps the couple arrive at agreeable solutions. The mediator is often an attorney who understands the law. In mediation, the end result is a binding agreement without the need for litigation. Depending on the situation, mediation is less costly than going to court, but it can also be less costly than collaboration.

Speaking with a divorce lawyer

To determine which avenue is best for you, speaking with a family law attorney is advised. A lawyer can examine your situation and help find a route to take that not only works best for your circumstance but saves money for everyone involved.