Dec 03, 2008

Divorce and The Economy, Part 1

I'm calling this post Part 1 because I'm expecting this issue to come up repeatedly, though actually, my first post on it was way back in January, when the housing market began to soften and divorcing couples started having trouble selling their most valuable -- and sometimes their only -- asset.   

A recent article by Alex Johnson at MSNBC.com goes farther, saying that the current economic situation "may be doing what pastors, family therapists, and matrimonial counselors have long struggled to accomplish: keeping troubled marriages together." Divorce is expensive, in large part because a divorce means that the resources that once supported one household must stretch to support two. The MSNBC article notes that although there are no hard numbers, marriage counselors say business is up, and divorce lawyers say business is down.

While divorce isn't a desirable result, neither is the necessity that unhappy couples remain together based purely on economic factors. On the other hand, if people who otherwise might have divorced go to marriage counseling instead because it's less expensive and it actually helps, who are we to argue that the bad economy is all bad?

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