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Recent divorce patterns follow ebb and flow of economy

A new study shows that recent divorce rates have followed the ebb and flow of the economy over the last few years. As the Great Recession hit the divorce rate across the country declined and as slow progress has been made in the economic recovery the rate of divorce similarly has climbed. Family law attorneys also say the economic climate has contributed to making the divorce process more complicated than in years past.

As families experienced mortgage stress and unemployment during 2008 and 2009 divorce rates dropped substantially. In 2008 the divorce rate fell 24 percent and in 2009 the rate of divorce fell almost 60 percent. The divorce rate has inched back up as measured progress in the economy has been made. Problems that come up in the divorce process have also been exacerbated by the tough economy.

Today large amounts of credit card debt are often revealed during divorce proceedings and sometimes the revelation can be a shock to one of the spouses, especially if the spouse was not "in charge" of the money. Divorce attorneys and finance experts try to work with their clients to help get their clients' finances in line. One financial advisor says the first step he recommends is to "get out of debt by avoid going deeper into debt."

Because of the economy, couples today are also trying to be more amicable during the divorce process.

Finally, the economy has also affected the causes of divorce and according to one source three of the top five causes are job loss, housing problems and credit card debt.

Source: Reuters, "Divorce stress meets recession mess, and women struggle," Lou Carlozo, Oct. 14, 2011

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