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Statistics shows divorces are on the rise in New York

The New York State Department of Health recently released preliminary figures on the number of divorces and dissolutions of marriage by annulment here in the Empire State in 2012, the most recent year for which such data is available.

While the numbers are certainly noteworthy, it's the trend behind the numbers that's actually causing the most conversation.

Breaking the numbers down, the NYSDH found the following:

  • There were 58,792 divorces and annulments in 2012, a three percent increase from 2011.
  • Divorces in the state have increased by 17 percent since 2009, a year that saw 50,310 divorces/annulments (the lowest overall divorce total between 1997 and 2012).

What exactly is behind this dramatic uptick in the number of divorces here in New York?

Interestingly, some experts theorize that New York's steadily climbing divorce rate, which mirrors most of the U.S., can be attributed to the nation's steadily improving economic conditions.

In other words, the recent recession created such serious economic issues in households across the nation that many estranged couples simply decided to postpone their divorce in order to save money.

"In this recession, it appears that the increased costs were a bigger factor than the increased strains, so the divorce rate fell temporarily before rebounding when people were able to manage the expense and related difficulties of the divorce itself," said one University of Maryland sociologist who penned a major research paper on this subject.

While this is certainly a very interesting -- and highly plausible -- theory, some divorce attorneys in New York have another idea for the reason behind the recent rise in divorce filings: the advent of no-fault divorce in October 2010.

Thanks to no-fault divorce, New York spouses no longer have to prove specific grounds for a divorce such as infidelity, cruelty, etc. This, of course, means it's much easier to secure a legal split from a spouse.

Regardless of the reasoning behind this trend, those actively debating a divorce here in New York should strongly consider speaking with an experienced legal professional to learn more about their rights and options concerning everything from child custody to property division.

Source: The Albany Business Review, "Divorces up 17 percent in New York since recession ended," Michael DeMasi, Feb. 13, 2014 

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