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Divorce during the financial crisis: up or down?
While Dubai sees an increase in the number of couples breaking up because of the crisis, couples in other countries are being forced to live together.
October 1, 2009 12:52 by Aarti Nagraj
Divorce rates in Dubai have soared this year because of the global financial crisis, says a report by Xpress. In the first six months of 2009, 500 of the 947 divorce cases filed at the Dubai Court’s Personal Status Cases Department cited financial problems as the reason for separation, Mohammad Abdul Rahman Ebrahim, director of the department told the weekly paper.
According to lawyers, divorce rates tend to increase during tough economic times; during the US recession in 1997, there was a 17 percent rise in divorces, said a report in MSNBC.
“It is manic right now,” Vanessa Lloyd Platt, a lawyer in London specializing in family law told The New York Times earlier this year. “I am seeing three new groups of clients during this recession,” she said. “Those who are very wealthy and want to get out while their net worth looks low; those who lost their jobs and want to start over with new partners; and those who are bailing out while there is still money to get.”
Law firms predict two million couples in the UK could seek advice about divorce this year, said a report on the BBC.
However, the financial crisis has also managed to have had the complete opposite effect on divorce rates in some countries.
Lawyers in Spain have said that divorce rates in the country are estimated to have fallen by 30 percent this year. “It has become extremely difficult for couples wanting to divorce to sell their home at a reasonable price, and the crisis is also making it harder to maintain two separate households,” Madrid divorce lawyer Antonio Prada told German press agency, Deutsche Presse Agentur.
“People simply can’t afford to get divorced,” Michele Weiner-Davis, founder of divorcebusting.com, an online community for couples considering divorce told The Washington Times. “They can’t afford the legal fees; they can’t afford having two separate places to live,” she said.
“Couples which intended to divorce may even stay together permanently,” Prada said. “The economic crisis would thus help to preserve marriages.”