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Colorado divorce rate plummets during recession

In the few years that Victoria Hutson worked in the litigation department of a law firm, she witnessed a seismic change in the way clients ended their marriages.

“A number of women were divorcing, and we felt they made out pretty well when they got the house,” said Hutson, who was divorced in 2009. “It’s completely the opposite now.”

As home prices and the economy plummeted, the divorce rate has trended downward.



The divorce rate in Colorado has dropped to 4.2 percent per 1,000 people, a rate hit only once – in 2003 – in the past 21 years.

In 2007, the year the recession began, the rate was 4.4 percent, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The latest data available are from 2009.



Though that might seem like good news, there is a shadow side.

Those familiar with divorce, from lawyers to investment advisers to marital therapists, say the drop is mostly because of economic issues: People can’t afford to maintain two households or pay an attorney.

Often, the house is worth less than when it was bought, so there is no equity for either partner to start a new life.

And the financial issues are now weighted with a new problem. After more than three years of struggling, people are tired.

“They see the work they need to do to have a marriage that’s good, but they’re so overwhelmed by the financial stress and the kids that doing that work is just too much,” said Mary Kelly Williams, a Boulder therapist.

“I’m seeing people just settling, staying in the situation, because they don’t have the energy to do the work to have a good marriage, which is considerable. They learn to coexist,” Williams said.

Read more: Colorado divorce rate plummets during recession – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_18118975#ixzz1NC19q9Mj


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