Economic recovery may lead more couples to divorce

Economic recovery may lead more couples to divorce

Economic recovery may lead more couples to divorce

Chicago residents who have been considering divorce over the past five years or so may have been putting it off until a time that they think they can better afford it. If so, they are apparently not alone. Observers say that there has been a marked increase in the number of people filing for divorce over the past year, and some say this is due to pent-up demand from people who did not want to divorce until the economy got better.

Data from the U.S. Census shows only a small uptick in divorces between 2008 and 2012, but websites that track divorce say they’ve seen a rapid rise in divorce filings or consultations with divorce attorneys over the past year.

One reason many couples might have been putting off divorce was related to housing. For many in Chicago and across the country, the family home represents their greatest asset. But, with demand and prices down, they have not been able to sell their homes at a reasonable price. At the end of a marriage, couples must divide their property, but if their assets were not worth what they paid for them, they might have decided to wait until the market rebounds.

Similarly, with the job market down, many in the Chicago area have been unemployed, or working for lower wages than they would like. Thus, they might have felt unable to provide child support or alimony.

People who have been waiting to get divorced may be tired of waiting to get on with their lives and may feel impatient to be done with the process once they see their financial situation turn for the better. However, reaching agreement on property division and other aspects of divorce can be slow, demanding work. But with patience, and with the right help, Chicago residents can reach a solution that works.

Source:, “‘Til death(or economic recovery) do us part,” Martha C. White, May 14, 2013





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