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Census Bureau Survey Discovers U.S. Divorces Decline Slightly, But “Seven-Year Itch” Remains

By Nottage and Ward on June 13, 2011

ABC News reports that new data released by the Census Bureau shows that divorces in the U.S. have tapered slightly after decades of steadily increasing. Couples are now more likely to achieve 10 years of marriage. However, the trend of couples getting a divorce after seven years of marriage, called the “seven-year itch,” remains.

The Census Bureau obtained the data after conducting its Survey of Income and Program Participation in 2009, which surveyed 55,497 adults who are or have been married. Approximately 75 percent of people who have been married since the 1990s reported they had been married for 10 years or more, an increase of around three percent as compared to people married in the 1980s, when divorce rates in the U.S. began to peak. The 1960s and 1970s saw the highest divorce rates as the result of new laws that were passed that made it easier and faster to divorce.

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Divorce Rates Increase as the U.S. Economy Recovers

By Nottage and Ward on June 8, 2011

ABC News reports that divorce attorneys across the United States have seen an increase in the number of couples who are seeking to finalize their divorce after months of indecision during the economic recession.

According to the vice president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), John Slowiaczek, the increase is due primarily to finances. He notes that many law firms are seeing an increase in the number of clients they have as the country recovers from the recession. Specifically, his law office in Nebraska saw an increase of 25 percent from January through April of this year when compared to the same period in 2010. Linda Lea Viken, president of the AAML, says that the recession made it difficult for couples to divorce on both emotional and financial levels. She notes that many couples may have assets that have decreased in value, or may be facing foreclosure on their home, both of which make it very risky for divorce. Some couples may have also had fears about the burden of being entirely responsible for their own bills after the divorce.

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