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Improving economy may mean time for divorce

It's not something readers may think about, but it's a reality that an improving economy often leads to a rise in the rate of divorce.

The year that brought the end of the recession also brought a 40-year low in divorces. That was 2009. Fast-forward to 2012: the economy is on the upswing and for the third year in a row, divorces are on the rise. Even with the rise, somewhere around 150,000 divorces were either avoided or postponed between 2009 and 2011.

Take, for example, a Pompano Beach couple who have been married for 35 years. Although the two are in an unhappy marriage, up until recently they have put off divorcing in order to save their engineering firm. Just this month, with their business "on the upswing," the two are pushing forward with their divorce.

The divorce rate has a tendency to tie into many aspects of the economy. Divorce means the splitting of a home, which can lead to more demand for housing. Also, rising home prices may motivate a couple to finally sell their property and file for divorce, giving them enough funds to start independent lives. Also, divorce tends to really impact the economics of women. Divorced women are more likely to seek out work or to be working due to financial need.

It'll be interesting to see how the divorce rate progresses in coming years. Although divorce is rarely an easy choice, with the backing of a strengthening economy, that decision might get a little easier for some.

Source: Bloomberg, "Worsening U.S. Divorce Rate Points to Improving Economy," Steve Matthews, Feb. 18, 2014

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