The divorce rate has been on the rise in the USA for many decades. But with the introduction of no-fault divorce procedures in the 1970’s and the emergence of ‘do-it-yourself’ divorce kits, it’s now easier and quicker to get a divorce than ever before. As the population increases and legal procedures become grayer and grayer, it’s hardly a surprise that divorce rates have risen. Around the turn of the century, less than 5% of marriages ended in divorce. While in the 1950’s this figure rose to 14%, the inception of the no-fault divorce law in the 70’s was the major turning point. Nowadays experts estimate that roughly 50% of all marriages end in divorce.
While divorce is almost always a sad affair, in many circumstances it’s for the better. Spouses that stay together without any real sense of unity are more prone to depression and often lack ambition. While many couples stay together because they believe retaining a family environment is paramount, a dysfunctional marriage can actually be detrimental to a child’s health – both mentally and physically. For these reasons, divorce can actually be a good thing for the economy.
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The Economic Benefits of Divorce
According to Bloomberg, worsening divorce rates is actually having a positive affect on America’s economy. Split households are increasing the need for housing; therefore aiding the construction industry and creating more jobs.
Since 2009 housing starts have surged by 67%, which is partly due to an influx of divorces during the recession. Due to this surge in demand, the cost of housing is rising and people are now holding off divorce until they are more financially secure, which is resulting in a wave-like affect.
Divorce and the Connection to Unemployment
Studies from the University of Arizona state that there is a direct tie between divorce and unemployment. For every one percent increase in the ‘jobless rate,’ divorces drop by roughly 1.7 percent.
Divorced women are also more likely to be searching for jobs than divorced men as they often have a more proactive role in child care. As of 2011, the average divorced woman’s capita drops by 15% per household after divorce procedures, rendering them far worse off than men.
Gender Equality and Divorce
Studies have shown that in the USA high divorce rates are actually improving gender equality in the younger generation. Women are staying in education longer; couples are taking longer engagement periods; and assets are usually split directly down the middle. While this doesn’t necessarily benefit women who are undergoing divorce, it’s ultimately leading to a more stable society for the future.
With so much freedom regarding the legalities of divorce these days, some experts predict that the value of marriage will slowly become less prominent, leading more couples to build family’s together, but without any financial or legal ties through marriage. Although divorce rates are on the rise, it may actually be a good thing for society and for the economy, as studies have shown.
If you’re currently going through a divorce and want to learn more about how it could affect your livelihood, check out SA Law’s collection of common Divorce Questions. This guide was designed to help you better understand the legalities of divorce and find out what steps you can take to ensure you aren’t left disadvantaged after procedures have been finalized.