The U.S. divorce rate and its correlation to economic prosperity

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the divorce rates in the United States seem to directly correlate to the prosperity of the U.S. economy.

It's now 2013-roughly 5 years after the Great Recession hit the market-and the economy is improving. And, according to the latest data, it also means more individuals are filing for divorce. But why?

The data

The U.S. Census Bureau analyzed data from the previous decade. The Bureau's data shows that, in 2009, U.S. divorce rates plunged dramatically. Then, starting in 2012, U.S. divorce rates started to rise. According to the Bureau, these numbers seem to directly correlate to how well the U.S. economy is doing.

In 2008, the United States was hit with the "Great Recession" where unemployment rates, and residential home foreclosures were the highest they had been in past years. It wasn't until 2012-when foreclosures weren't as prevalent, the housing market had picked up, and the unemployment rate began to decline-that divorce rates in the United States started to increase. Essentially, the Bureau indicates that the data shows that more people sought a divorce when the economy was doing well.

Potential reasons behind the statistic

One reason behind the statistic could be that many people living in bad economic times may fear leaving a marriage if they are unsure if they will be able to support themselves or seek employment post separation. Conversely, people living in prosperous economic times may feel more independent, take that life-changing step and seek a divorce.

Another reason for peoples' hesitancy to get a divorce during a recession could be an unfounded fear that the divorce would be too costly and simply something they cannot afford at the time. So, they just hold off until economic times improve.

However, it's important to note that divorce doesn't have to be so costly.

The myth of a costly divorce

It's true that some divorces cost an arm and a leg, but every couple's circumstance is different. Some couples are able to remain amicable which can help mitigate costs. Other couples have complex assets or debts that increase the costs of a divorce. Alternately, other couples select alternative methods (than going to court) to resolve their divorce, such as collaboration or mediation, that helps decrease the overall costs.

Speaking with a knowledgeable divorce attorney who can offer advice and cost-saving avenues as it pertains to individual circumstances is advised.