Divorce rates increase as housing market rebounds

As the economy and housing market continue to rebound following the Great Recession, readers of our Massachusetts family law blog may be surprised to learn that the divorce rate has steadily been increasing. This is true for Massachusetts divorces, as well as the divorce rate across the county.

According to NBC news, industry experts have seen an increase in divorce filings between 25% and 50% over the last year. These experts speculate the increase is due to “pent up demand” as unhappy couples stayed together to weather the recession. This can be tied to the housing market, as couples held out on filing for divorce due to underwater mortgages or the sale of a home in a slow market. Experts have seen a direct correlation between the improving housing market and divorce filings.

Experts also say the recession likely increased marital unhappiness. Unemployment and poor job prospects, coupled with mounting debt and the housing market crash undoubtedly fueled marital problems. A survey from the University of Virginia discovered 29% of married couples saw the economy crash as a strain on their marriage. There is also research that frequent fights over money can lead to divorce.

The increase in divorce filings does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Despite the reason for a divorce filing, it is important to speak with an experienced Worcester family law attorney. The division of marital property and debts and spousal support are just a few of the items that must be addressed in the divorce process. The decisions made in the course of divorce can have a lasting impact for years to come.

Source: The Fiscal Times, “As home values rise, so does divorce,” Blaire Briody, May 17, 2013