Hafemeyer Law

Economy and Divorce Rates

A recent study by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers has found that the frequency of divorce filings can be directly correlated with the state of the economy. As the economy spiraled out of control, the financial stress took a toll on marriages, but divorce rates declined. This study showed that many couples opted for an “in house” separation
because the economy made it financially impossible to split up.

For many, an in house separation required them to take steps toward preparing for divorce over a period of time. Discussions centered on who would occupy which rooms, which would do the chores, which would pay each bill and how to parent in the new relationship may have possibly helped prepare these couples for a more amicable divorce.

As the economy normalizes, it is predicted that divorce rates will be on the rise. So how can someone prepare for the financial stress of a divorce? The following are some general tips to prepare for the financial changes that may take place:

  • Gather clear copies of important documents – these would include mortgages, bank statements, pay stubs, estate planning documents, bank accounts, and expenses
  • Plan for living on less – for example schedule the car for needed repairs, fix the leaky faucet and take care of any needed medical or dental care. This will help avoid unexpected large expenditures in the first months following the divorce.
  • Look for a job if unemployed.
  • Open a separate bank account
  • Apply for one credit card –it may be difficult for single women / men to re-establish personal credit

These steps can help prepare for the financial challenges that can be realized during a divorce. Although it is never possible to prepare for every obstacle, planning for the worse possible scenario can make it a little more bearable.

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