Economic Recovery Drives up Divorce Rate
By Nancy Bickford
The cost of Paul McCartney and Heather Mills‘ wedding was reportedly a hefty $3 million. Their divorce: almost $50 million. In other words, divorce can be very expensive. This is why, according to an article on Bloomberg.com, the divorce rate plunged during the 18-month recession beginning in 2008; many unhappy couples simply couldn’t afford to get divorced. In fact, the article claims 150,000 divorces were postponed or avoided between 2009 and 2011.
One example was a Florida couple, Amy Derose and her husband Lawrence, who were forced to postpone their divorce for the sake of their engineering firm. Now, with the economic recovery, they are moving forward with their divorce, she is looking for a new job and “couldn’t be happier.”
The higher divorce rates are also having a positive effect on the economy. Divorces increase housing demand by creating the need for two households where there was formerly one. This also fuels the need for additional appliances and furnishings, further stimulating the economy.
Yet, although the higher divorce rate seems to have benefits, there is one casualty: women. According to Nicholas Wolfinger, sociology professor at the University of Utah, “Divorce takes a devastating economic toll on women.” Following a divorce, a woman’s per capita household income can drop as much as fifteen percent. Ariane Hegewisch, study director for the Institute for Women’s Policy Research in Washington points out, “Women may carry a greater burden of the costs of child care, but also to be more restrained in the paid work they can earn as primary caregiver for their family.”
The Bloomberg article highlights the experience of newly divorced mother of two Stephanie Jackson. She has a part-time job as a bookkeeper while studying to be a paralegal. Jackson said, “I have gone from an upper-middle-class mom to being a welfare mom. She is currently on food stamps and free lunches. Despite her economic hardships, however, she says that ending her unhappy marriage was “worth every moment of hardship.” She continues to say, ““I had to take full ownership of my life, my choices, my future, and my happiness.”
Many of you who have been trapped in unhappy marriages because of economic reasons may, like Stephanie Jackson, be ready to put your future happiness above your economic security. However, an experienced divorce lawyer may be able to help you better secure your financial future. If you’re looking for divorce representation, please find me at http://www.bickfordlaw.com/, on Facebook or by phone at 858-793-8884.
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