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Increase of divorce indicates improved economy

According to recent data from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, there are 4.95 divorces per 1,000 people in the United and 9.8 marriages per 1,000 people. That translates into a divorce rate of 50 percent. But the upturn in the economy may soon bring about more divorces than we have in the last few years. That according to divorce lawyers, who say that periods of economic turmoil, historically, lower divorce rates and less separations.

Of course, divorce lawyers also say there are also fewer marriages during economic depressions, since couples will often postpone their big day until finances look a little better. Conversely, recent increases in the US divorce rate can, ironically, be seen as a light at the end of the tunnel for many who are struggling financially, since they indicate that things are picking up.

According to sources, the divorce rate fell 24 percent in 2008 and 57 percent in 2009. That number started rising, though, toward the end of last year. Data from the Centers of Disease Control also showed a decrease in the divorce rate between 2007 and 2009.

According to a Pew Research poll taken near the end of 2009, 15 percent of adults below 35 years of age reported postponing marriage due to the recession and 14 percent reported postponing having a child. And while divorce is often not very expensive-sometime as little as several thousand dollars-the cost was enough to motivate some couples to stay together even though they reported failing marriages. Other couples, of course, noted a strengthening of their marriage. Tough times affect different couples differently, depending on the dynamics of the relationship and the resources available to the couple.

Bottom line: whether one views the increase of divorce as a positive or negative thing for couples struggling to keep their marriage together, it is a hopeful sign that the economy may be slowly improving.

Source: AFP, "Rising US divorce rate signals economic recovery," Virginie Montet, 29 April 2011.

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