Divorce and Foreclosure: Do Statistics Show a Relationship?

Some media outlets recently focused attention on a simple statistical relationship. Nevada, with one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country, also has the highest divorce rate of any state. One in every 313 Nevada housing units is in foreclosure, and 5.9 people per 1,000 got divorced in the most recent year for which statistics were available.

The relationship between these two significant events makes plenty of common sense. The financial difficulties that come with dividing marital assets and taking on separate residences can put a serious strain on a family home that was previously supported by two incomes. On the flip side, ever-present financial strain can take its toll on a relationship and cause spouses to consider separation or dissolution.

However, the formula does not work so well when applied to other high foreclosure states: California, Arizona, Florida, Georgia and Illinois all have foreclosure rates that rival or exceed Nevada’s. Yet only Georgia and Arizona have divorce rates that are higher than the national average.

On the other hand, several states with high divorce rates, including Alaska, Arkansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma, all have foreclosure rates that are well below the national average. Under this view, states such as Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts emerge as pillars of relative stability, registering low divorce rates combined with low rates of home foreclosures.

Helping Clients Negotiate the Perils of Divorce and Financial Distress

Wherever a couple lives, clear legal advice during times of financial hardship is a valued asset. A consultation with a lawyer who understands the complexities of divorce and bankruptcy issues can provide timely insights about marital property division, modification of mortgage terms and other issues involving assets, debts and an independent financial future.

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