Posted on behalf of Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA
People in Maryland may have seen a recent news article about an unexpected side effect of the economy’s slow return to stability. It turns out that as the economy has improved, the divorce rate across the U.S. has increased as well.
The fact that the divorce rate has increased is probably due to the fact that in a down economy, most couples simply cannot afford to get a divorce. When unemployment hovered near 10%, it was very possible that one or both spouses in the marriage were unemployed or underemployed and were not in a stable place where they felt comfortable moving forward alone. In addition to the employment issue, the couple may have been dealing with debt and other financial issues that made divorce seem more difficult under the circumstances.
When married couples split up, one of the hardest divorce legal issues they have to settle is property division. Usually the largest asset a couple owns is their home so when the couple divorces, the value of the home is going to play a large part in the couple’s settlement. If neither spouse wants to keep the house, the couple will have to try to sell it. In past years this would have been almost unthinkable, as home values in Maryland were depressed, and could mean that the divorcing couple would get mere pennies on what the couple paid for the marital home.
Now, however, the economy is starting to look up and couples may think about themselves and their own happiness rather than stay together out of necessity. Prudent couples who waited to get a divorce, but are now considering it, may wish to contact an experienced divorce attorney.
Source: Los Angeles Times “Divorces increase as improving economy makes split-ups affordable,” Stuart Pfeifer, September 18, 2013