Fewer Americans Getting Divorced During Recession

(NECN/CNN) - The recession is taking a toll on marriages, but also divorces. It turns out fewer Americans are getting divorced, not because they fall back into love, but because they just can't afford to go their separate ways.

Aallie and her husband of 15 years were getting a divorce, but still living under one roof. 

"My husband lives in the guest room, and he comes home on Wednesday nights early to have dinner with the kids," she said, "and the other nights he comes home late to give me my space, so it's, it's not perfect. It's been difficult." 

As legal bills for two divorce attorneys piled up, the couple switched to a less-expensive mediator. But the situation with the house wasn't as simple. 

"Right now there are 20 houses in town on the market that are in our price range," she said, "and there are no buyers, so my broker has pretty much prepared me that the house is going to sit for quite a while."

For Sallie, remaining financially sound meant remaining under the same roof as her ex-husband. But for some, getting a divorce isn't even an option. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers says 57% of attorneys polled reported fewer divorces during the recession.

The couple stayed in the home for a full year before deciding emotion trumped finances. 

"It was a very difficult time," she said. "A very emotional time, and we made the decision the sell the house, and it could have easily sat on the market for a year, and I didn't want to put my kids through that because it was tough enough. So I priced it to sell, and we sold the house right away and I am not going to lie, lost a lot of money and that hurt."

Sallie started over, changing back to her maiden name, she downsized, and started a small business as an interior designer out of her new home. 

"I have discovered a niche where all of my clients right now are divorced or separated," she said. "And so it is kind of nice to work with people who are in similar circumstances." 

And if there is a silver lining for sallie and her boys in their smaller home, she says, "We spend a lot more time together as a family because there are fewer places for them to scurry away to."

Contact Us