“Pent-up demand” for divorce cited following economic recovery

“Increased mobility — both personal and career — acts as a pressure valve for backlogged marital discontent.”

So says the founder of one divorce-related Internet site, and what he means is this: When times are financially tight, couples in Georgia and elsewhere who might otherwise divorce often stay together longer than intended out of economic necessity, and when options once again increase in better times, they continue with their dissolution plans.

That truism is playing out in much more than purely anecdotal terms across the country these days, with statistics broadly backing up the claim that divorce activity is up in most areas of the nation.

Conversely, it hardly seems surprising that many would-be divorces were put on hold during the recent economic malaise that beset the country, and its attendant effects on a massive number of job losses and stunningly depreciating home values.

Those elements — having a stable income through an ongoing career and solid equity in a home — are often at the very core of a person’s divorce-related considerations. In other words, not having either puts a real dent in the ability or inclination of many people to continue with divorce plans.

And so, as is evidenced by a multitude of diverse statistics, millions of Americans have simply been waiting it out the past couple years. And now that it is again getting better (with personal wealth being fully restored for many people), they are again acting.

Alton L. Abramowitz, the president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, cites a divorce “uptick” in recent months. Many attorneys are reporting an increase in divorce clients.

And Avvo.com, a legal advice website, states that divorce-related searches comprised about 10 percent of all searches on its site during the first three months of this year. Over the same period last year, that number stood at just one percent.

Source: CNBC, “‘Til death (or economic recovery) do us part,” Martha C. White, May 14, 2013

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