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Study Finds a Connection Between Unemployment and Divorce

By Nottage and Ward on June 10, 2011

According to The Huffington Post, a recent study conducted by sociology professors at Penn State University found that, since the 1980s, divorce rates have consistently dropped when unemployment rates have increased.

The study analyzed data from all 50 states in the U.S. between 1960 and 2005. Researchers expected to discover that unemployment destabilizes marriage. Before 1980, this was true: when unemployment numbers rose, so did the number of divorces. Since the 80s, however, when unemployment rates have increased, divorce rates have declined.

The study found that about 4.6 percent of the nation’s work force was unemployed in March of 2007, before the economic downturn. Just three years later, the unemployment rate increased to about 10.2 percent. On the other hand, divorce declined by about 1.4 percent between 2007 and 2008, and by an additional 2.8 percent between 2008 and 2009.

The report has been met with skepticism by some, however. One attorney interviewed for the article stated they believed that divorce decreases when unemployment rates are high because many couples may not want to change their standard of living by needing to pay for an extra household with one less salary. Another attorney noted that it is already difficult to divide a couple’s assets when a couple receives dual income, and if one party is unemployed it may complicate matters further.

Whether you have a job in Illinois or are unemployed, you may have many questions about the divorce process, particularly if you have been contemplating divorcing for some time. To learn whether the skills and experience of the Chicago divorce lawyers at Nottage and Ward match your needs at this time, call 312-332-2915.

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