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Does a strong economy increase divorce rates?

On Behalf of | Jan 29, 2024 | Divorce

Some people believe that a strong economy would reduce divorce rates. This likely stems from the fact that financial stress can often cause divorce. In a stronger economy, people have more money to go around, and this limits the financial stress that they face.

But studying the data actually shows that the opposite is true. A strong economy seems to promote divorce and divorce rates will go up. What are some of the potential reasons why this happens?

More assets to divide

One reason is that couples generally have more assets to divide if they’re doing well financially. This gives them a sense of security. Couples in a lower income bracket may know that they need to stay married and have two incomes just to be able to pay the rent. But if the couple has substantial assets, both people know that they will be fine after the divorce. 

Financial stress can still exist

Another thing to keep in mind is that wealthy couples are not entirely insulated from financial stress. It can certainly still exist for them. They may just have higher spending levels.

For instance, even if two people are both making over $100,000 a year, they may have moved to an expensive suburb, purchased expensive luxury cars and made other such decisions. They are still living paycheck to paycheck, even though $200,000 a year is far more than the average family income in the United States. This financial stress can still lead to conflict and divorce.

Getting divorced with substantial assets can make it more complicated. Those involved need to be sure they understand exactly what legal steps to take.