There are many factors that can contribute to the likelihood of a couple deciding to divorce. Among them are whether their parents are divorced, their socioeconomic background, and their level of education. Interestingly, a recent study shows that the economy may also be a factor in whether a couple gets divorced. 

At first thought, it may seem reasonable that a couple would consider divorce more seriously when the economy is bad. Maybe one spouse lost his or her job, making it difficult to make ends meet. Arguments over how to spend money could ultimately lead to divorce. The study, however, showed that a rebounding economy seems to prompt a rise in divorces. 

From 2009 to 2011, the divorce rate slowed substantially. Today, however, researchers say the rate is climbing again. Why would good economic conditions mean a higher rate of divorce? Because more people can afford the financial hit that many couples take after divorce.

When a couple gets divorced, they have to divide up all of their assets equitably, including bank accounts, retirement accounts and investments. Not only that, but the couple will no longer benefit from joint incomes — or one spouse cannot rely on his or her partner’s salary anymore. Even when both spouses are successful, living completely off of their own incomes often results in a lifestyle change of some sort.

Of course, the economy is not the sole factor in divorce rates, and many researchers say the evidence supporting this idea is still not entirely conclusive. Regardless of why a couple decides to get divorced, it is always important to be prepared. For most people in New York, that means working with an attorney who will help them understand your rights and options while protecting their best interests.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Divorces rise as economy recovers, study finds,” Emily Alpert Reyes, Jan. 27, 2014