Credit crunch cutting divorce rates as couples stay together

December 22nd, 2008 - 6:56 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Dec 22 (ANI): The global financial crisis is forcing couples to stay together, leading to a significant drop in divorce.
Married couples have realised that it is far cheaper to stay together rather than get divorce- that’’s when they can”t stand each other.
Circuit courts across the country have reported downturns in the number of divorce and separation filings.
A 5 percent decrease in filings, which is about 600 cases, has been seen in Cook County’’s Circuit Court in Chicago in the first three quarters of 2008, compared to the same period last year.
A similar drop rate was also reported in other cities across the country.
A poll by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers surveyed its members, who were all divorce lawyers.
And the findings of the poll revealed that 37 percent of divorce lawyers have seen a decrease in the number of couples seeking a divorce, while just 19 percent saw an increase in divorce cases.
“The reason that the economy has such an enormous impact on divorce is that most people in the middle-income brackets are getting by on whatever income they have. They”re just getting by,” the Wall Street Journal quoted Bonnie Booden, a family law and divorce attorney in Phoenix, as saying.
She claimed that one major factor in the divorce downturn was that after divorce, couples have to establish two separate and that too with current funds, which can become a prohibitive factor when you”re looking at divorce in tough economic times.
She revealed that one out of every two clients is seeking consultations because they can”t afford to get divorced. And thus, they want to go for the other options they might have.
“I tell them about the process, about the cost, and what a reasonable outcome might be. And once they hear the cost, and especially how you have to duplicate two households on the same money that currently funds one household, they try to think about some other options,” she said.
While some of her clients have split up bedrooms and continue to live in the same house, she mentioned that there were others who have split child-care duties so they don”t have to deal with each other and live that way until they can figure out what to do.
“And I”ve had people who just throw in the towel and get divorces anyway, creating financial ruin for themselves,” she said.
Gary Nickelson, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, said people are just, “toughing it out” and putting off the decision to divorce until the economy gets better.
“We”re in a perfect storm as far as the divorce business is concerned. It’’s not a surprise to me. That’’s been my experience over the last 35 years. When you have an economic downturn people are not so quick to change their situation,” he said. (ANI)

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