Divorces Drop Along with Housing Prices
The financial crisis has had one silver lining: fewer divorces. Josie Cox for Reuters:
Fewer British couples are filing for divorce as the sharp drop in property prices makes it hard for couples to sell a joint home and the credit crunch dampens a desire to fund two separate households, according to a study on Monday.
The study, published by Grant Thornton accountants, showed that almost half of all surveyed matrimonial lawyers believe the numbers of divorces has slumped — and will continue to do so — because of the financial squeeze.
Data published by the Office for National Statistics earlier this year showed that the number of people getting divorced fell from 12.2 per 1,000 couples in 2006 to 11.9 in 2007, and is currently at a 26-year low.
The survey also found newlyweds are increasingly eager to settle financial agreements ahead of tying the knot, and are steering away from pre-nuptial “lump sum agreements” which do not take the falling value of assets into account. “I can only imagine that this trend will continue to rise particularly in an economic downturn when people feel increasingly vulnerable about their financial position,” said Kerr.
Of course, another way of looking at this is that bad economic times have trapped people in bad marriages. But there are doubtless large numbers of people with unrealistic expectations of married life who will bail on the relationship as soon as the going gets rough, especially if getting a fresh start is easy. Which of the two is most dominant here is impossible to say based on the above report and the study is not currently available on the Grant Thornton site.
Photo by Flickr user jcoterhals under Creative Commons license.