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In recent years, news reports in Illinois and elsewhere have highlighted a slowing divorce rate. This shift represented a reversal from years of increasing divorce rates. The national divorce retreated from the 50 percent rate for the first time in years. While the shrinking divorce rate represented a positive sign during an otherwise dark economic times, a new study suggests a link between divorce and the state of the economy.

According to the study, the improving economy has been bad news for the divorce rate. From 2009 to 2011, divorce rates dropped dramatically. Many experts now believe the dip had to with money, not happiness. That is, people did not suddenly become happy in their marriages, they simply became less able to afford the cost of getting divorced. They stayed together because they could not afford to leave each other.

Much of the reason for the slower rate of divorce is tied to the real estate market. During the down economy, people could not sell their homes, which is often necessary for couples as they divide their property.

Whatever the future holds, it is clear that despite the state of the economy, couples will continue to separate and get divorced. These couples will need to make a lot of hard decisions during a difficult time. Under these circumstances, it may make sense to speak with an experienced family law attorney. This legal professional would be able to provide their expertise and help Illinoisans navigate the challenging process of divorce.

The family law attorney would be able to assess a person’s entire situation and strategize a plan with realistic solutions that address areas of divorce such as child custody and visitation, child support, alimony (also known as spousal maintenance) and property and debt division.

Source:, “Divorce Rate Picking Up with Economy,” Jan. 31, 2014