Many people believe that hard times, such as the current recession, can put even the strongest marriage under strain, so you might expect marriages to break down more readily. However, a recent article in the Daily Mail reveals some surprising statistics. A study in the US shows that between 2008 and 2009 the divorce rate for women dropped by 1.4 percent, but with recent hints at a recovery in the economy, the rate has risen again by almost 2 percent. What might cause this unusual pattern?
Actually, the Daily Mail article explains that this is not a new occurrence. During the Great Depression divorce rates reduced, then rose again following the recovery of the economy. There is a certain amount of speculation about what causes this.
Some have argued that difficult times can encourage a couple to ‘pull together’, strengthening the bond between them, and making marriages stronger. Others argue that a combination of factors could account for the drop in the divorce rate during a recession. In particular, the actual cost of obtaining divorce can be a significant influence.
Getting divorced can be expensive
Even the most straightforward of divorces involves cost, and for those whose circumstances are more complicated, this can be considerable. A ‘basic’ divorce in the UK can cost several hundred pounds, before you take into account the additional practical expenses involved, such as removal costs or buying new furniture. It seems that the rise in the divorce rate has not yet impacted those on a low wage. Maybe it’s a simple matter of finance? People are staying together because they can’t afford to get divorced.
Again, this is not new. During the 1980’s many couples were feeling stuck; ‘forced’ to stay together due to negative equity and living separate lives under the same roof. It’s likely that the high cost of divorce makes it impossible for those on a tight budget, although higher earners can perhaps afford a divorce more easily.
Support during divorce
Whatever the reasons, it’s clear from the figures that more people are separating than a few years ago, and if you are facing divorce, especially if it’s unwanted, this can be a stressful and traumatic experience. Getting the right support, and approaching the situation in the right way, can make all the difference to how you feel and how soon you begin to recover. Programs such as the Naked Divorce can make a huge difference to anyone whose worst nightmare is coming true, and it’s important to realize you are not alone – there are others out there who are going through the same experiences.
There are no winners in a divorce. The breakdown of a relationship always takes its toll, but by actively taking control and seeking support, you can put yourself on the road to recovery sooner, and begin getting on with the rest of your life.