It's not something most people would realize, but during the recession, many people were putting divorces on hold.
Due to major financial concerns, including low home values and fear of lay-offs, many people chose to remain in relationships that weren't making them happy. A study done by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, released in February 2011, found that the recession caused 38 percent of respondents to "table or cancel their plans to divorce or separate."
Now that we are coming out of the recession, the number of divorces has risen sharply in Northern Virginia.
In Northern Virginia, divorces and annulments rose 18 percent from 2009 to 2011, and 7 percent across the entire state. Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William Counties all had drops in divorces from around 2008 to 2010, but Loudon's divorce numbers rose steadily. Alexandria disregarded the entire trend and divorces increased every year, with a 29.3 percent increase from 2009-2011. They had nearly as many divorces as Fairfax County in 2011, but only have one-seventh of the population.
A former president of the Virginia Bar Association said his colleagues in the Family Law Bar all noticed a big decrease in new clients starting at the beginning of 2009. He said that he thinks people definitely put off divorce because their pension and 401(k) accounts were devastated and their houses were worth less than their outstanding debt. He does feel people are "coming back out of the cave now."
At Smith Strong, PLC, we have been seeing the same trends. Our family law attorneys are available to help individuals looking to file for divorce around Richmond and Williamsburg. Call us today for a consultation at 804-325-1245 (Richmond) or 757-941-4298 (Williamsburg).