Reports of Divorce Rate Increase: Acceptance of a New Economic Reality?

Rates of divorce have declined in the last few years, and many family law practitioners have attributed the reduction in dissolution’s to the economic challenges posed by the Great Recession. Even if a couple believes that a marriage will no longer work, they may accept the fact that maintaining two households in a time of economic uncertainty has not been a risk worth taking. Diminished real estate equity and uncertainty about jobs opportunities have left some spouses resigned to postponing legal solutions until they feel more secure.

But recent reports suggest that divorce rates are increasing, and some commentators speculate that the reason is that Americans have become accustomed to the new economic reality. Marlene Eskind Moses, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), told the Minneapolis Star Tribune in August that her organizations membership is seeing an increase in divorce clients. “With the recession, there was initial shock that paralyzed people. They were frozen, not wanting to make any more significant changes in their lives. They weren’t any happier than before, but too afraid to do anything about it. Now people are stabilizing, acclimating themselves to the new economic realities, and saying, ‘Things may not change soon, but at least I can have a happy life on an emotional level.’”

Steady Advice From Advocates Who Understand Matrimonial and Financial Issues

In the current economic climate, people who are considering divorce need to pursue knowledge about their legal options as well as their financial interests. Estranged couples who have felt trapped by a mortgage that exceeds the market value of their home should take a hard look at loan modification programs to see if one spouse may be able to remain in the family home. For others, a full range of debt relief options may provide solutions, including bankruptcy and consolidation. An attorney with experience in all of these areas can explain strategies to attain an independent future that recently seemed foreclosed.

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