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Divorce Rate Ticks Upward as Economy Improves

Perhaps one day economists will routinely add one additional factor in their analysis of indicators and events -- such as the unemployment rate, consumer confidence, housing starts and retail sales -- that collectively help gauge how the economy is doing: the divorce rate.

In fact, the number of divorces in Fulton County and across the country -- and whether they are rising or falling in a given period -- is a very good indicator of where the nation is in terms of its claw back from the abyss a few short years ago.

Apparently, things are definitely getting better for a lot of people as America emerges from its recent recession, as evidenced by both divorce statistics and anecdotal evidence offered by a number of divorce attorneys across the country.

"There is a huge pent-up demand," says one, noting the reviving economy as the driving reason for many couples who wanted but were unable to get divorces in preceding years to resume the divorce process now. Many would-be divorcing parties lost their jobs, exhausted their savings and foreclosed on their homes in the past year or two, making it difficult -- for many, virtually impossible -- to secure a divorce. More than half of the attorneys who are members in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers ("AAML") state that they had a downtick in divorce clients in 2009

That is now changing as jobs are being added and savings accounts are again growing for many Americans. The president of AAML, Linda Lea Viken, says that her divorce practice is now 25 percent busier than it was in 2009. Other attorneys cite a similar reemergence in the practice area.

Related Resource: Financial Times, "Recovery prompts US divorce rebound" April 22, 2011

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