The number of divorces in America dropped because of the recession, according to a recent article in the Washington Post. “With housing values depressed and jobs disappearing, divorce has become a luxury beyond the reach of some couples,” according to the Post. Divorce is expensive, and many estranged couples are choosing to stay together rather than weather the economic storm. Many couples, according to the Post, are going through a separation while still living together, and are unable to move forward.
This can result in all sorts of new tensions for divorcing couples in addition to the traditional tensions divorce has always spawned. As the Washington Post asks, “How do they start over if debt is all that’s left to divide?” The number of divorcing couples that went through bankruptcy rose since 2008, as the number of divorces decreased.
According to U.S. Census Bureau’s National Marriage Project and the Washington Post, “divorce rates showed a decline in 2008, the first year of the recession, when 838,000 cases were granted at a time when growing economic strain might have produced a spike in divorce.” In 1960, there were 9.2 divorces in the U.S. per 1,000 married women 15 and older. In 2008, there were only 16.9, despite the overall rise in percentage of divorced couples and massive spike of divorces during the 1980s and 1990s. Analysts suggest this is due to the economic downturn.