During the recent recession, the U.S. Census Bureau reported a significant drop in the divorce rate. Now that the economic recovery is well under way, it is predicted that there will be a rise in divorce filings in Massachusetts and other states. The many stumbling blocks divorced couples face when they are financially challenged may be the reason for the decline during hard times. This may be especially true for a parent who has child custody.
Divorce often presents a challenge for a parent who wants to take proper care of his or her children while trying to maintain his or her own standard of living. It is well documented that divorce is commonly followed by a decline in income. Selling a home and moving into two separate residences requires the financial ability to maintain two separate households. The custodial parent often chooses to maintain the family home, not wanting to cause additional trauma to the children. However, being able to cover mortgage and maintenance, along with other child care costs, may prove to be difficult.
On the other hand, selling the family home may be even more costly in a negative real estate market. Recessions come with escalated rates of unemployment, and a parent who had previously given up a career to care for children may struggle to re-enter the job market and earn enough to cover his or her expenses and child care costs. A Family Research Council study in 2011 found that a custodial parent’s income typically drops by about 52 percent after divorce. It also indicated that almost three times more divorced mothers live in poverty, compared with those who stay married.
However, with the positive economic indications, more Massachusetts couples may be considering divorce, and, regardless of their financial welfare, the process may be a painful experience. Fortunately, experienced divorce attorneys are there to guide couples through the process, and they usually have professional resources available to assist divorcing couples with the many pitfalls. These professionals may include mediators to facilitate negotiations related to child custody and parenting plans and financial professionals to help with property division issues.
Source: commdiginews.com, “As the economy improves, divorce rate will increase“, Myra Fleischer, April 6, 2015