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Getting divorced is a major emotional and financial decision. A divorcing individual may fear the future because he or she isn't sure how to handle future relationships or how the divorce may affect his or her financial status. However, more and more people in California are willing to accept the unknown and finally depart from their spouses as the economy begins to improve.

Instances of divorce decreased when the recession hit a few years ago, and it is rising now that the economy is starting to get better, researchers said. In fact, about 150,000 fewer divorces took place between 2009 and 2011 than what otherwise could have occurred. The reasons behind the drop in the divorce rate during the recession are unclear.

However, some sociologists said that the tough recession appeared to have pulled married couples together, thus forestalling divorce. Others said that people simply waited for the economy to improve before filing for divorce, as they could not afford to do it at that time. Still, although unemployment appeared to reduce divorce for college graduates, foreclosures drove divorce up for these individuals.

Now that the economy is beginning to rebound, many people in California may be considering finally taking the step to file for divorce. Although it might be troubling emotionally and may cause a person to worry about his or her financial security, it also can help a person to feel free and to finally reclaim his or her own life. People can increase their chances of having favorable financial outcomes during divorce proceedings by working to negotiate on areas such as asset and property division with their soon to be ex-spouses. In the absence of an agreement between the parties, a court will have to get involved to make these decisions for them.

Source: Los Angeles Times, Divorces rise as economy recovers, study finds, Emily Alpert Reyes, Jan. 27, 2014

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