California Divorce, Recession, & Alimony

alimony-in-recessionNobel Prize winning economist Gary Becker performed a now famous study on the effects of income in marriage back in 1977.  What he discovered was that any change in income, positive or negative, makes a family more susceptible to divorce.

The results of this study are still proving true over 30 years later as the current recession in the U.S. and California specifically has seen a rise in money-related divorces, and also led to an increase in problems associated with an ancillary issue to divorce- alimony.

Popular divorce site Divorce360.com recently blogged about this very alimony trend.  Because the financial situations of many California couples seeking divorce, or already divorced, has changed so drastically in the past year, there has been a huge increase in requests for alimony modification.

We’re seeing similar trends at LegalMatch.  According to statistics compiled from all people seeking alimony legal assistance in California within the last 12 months, the overwhelming majority of inquiries involved either collection of past due alimony or termination of alimony payments.

The high level of interest in these two categories is even more interesting because they are polar opposites and come from different sides of the divorce- one being the spouse looking to alimony as income and needing all back payments, and the other being the spouse looking to alimony as a financial pitfall that he or she is trying to get out of to save needed funds.

The numbers are high and the reasons aren’t surprising.  The recession is fully reflected in all aspects of California divorce proceedings and the trend will continue as long as these tough economic times persist.

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