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The U.S. economy remains shaky as we emerge from the pandemic, with several signs that we are in a recession or will be soon. A recession affects our lives in various ways, including, it seems, our marriages.

Money is a common cause of divorce. Unemployment and disagreements over household finances can strain a marriage beyond repair. So you might guess that during a recession, when many American households are dealing with serious financial problems, would be a time when the divorce rate goes up.

But the opposite appears to be true. During the last major recession of 2008-09, the U.S. divorce rate actually fell from 20.9 per 1,000 married women to 19.5. In the following two years, as the economy began to improve, the divorce rate for married women increased slightly to 19.8 per 1,000.

Why does this happen?

Looking deeper, it seems that the recession did not bring married people closer together so much as it forced unhappy couples to postpone divorce. Getting divorced costs money, and it usually means that each spouse will have to pay for their own household. When unemployment or underemployment affects your life, a divorce might seem too expensive or difficult. So a lot of couples in Florida and elsewhere likely chose to ride it out, at least until their financial situation improved.

Divorce can be affordable

It remains to be seen if another recession is happening and how it will affect the divorce rate. But national trends are not as important as your personal happiness. If you are considering divorce or your spouse says they want one, you need to find a way to do so affordably while still defending your property and parental rights. This is possible by working with an experienced divorce attorney.