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Rising divorce rate signals improving economy

It may seem logical that poor economic times would prompt some people to divorce. Job losses, unmanageable debt, foreclosure and other financial problems can put a lot of strain on a relationship. What is sometimes easy to forget, however, is that you need money to get divorced. 

Think about all of the expenses that a couple pays for together. The mortgage, car payments, groceries, bills, kids' tuition and other expenses often come from the same pot of money. When a couple divorces, they may continue to share some expenses -- such as those related to their children -- but housing expenses, groceries, bills and others will all be separated, each responsible for his or her own. During a poor economy, not everyone can afford this -- so they wait. 

Evidence of this can be found in the current divorce numbers compared to economic conditions. As the U.S. economy has rebounded, divorce rates have risen with it. Today, it is easier to sell a home, and perhaps easier for many couples to split and be able to handle financial independence. 

While it is possible that a poor economy could create conditions that make a couple consider divorce, the numbers show that most people wait until they are more financially stable to initiate the process. In fact, a study from the University of Arizona showed that divorce rates fall when the unemployment rate rises. 

With a better economy, some people in Alaska may now be considering taking action on their thoughts of divorce. Hopefully newfound financial stability will bring relief to those who have been stuck in a marriage that is no longer working.

Source: The Atlantic, "Why More Divorces Are a Good Sign for the Economy," Jordan Weissmann, Feb. 18, 2014

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