Recession slowing down divorce rate, not strengthening marriage

Last month, we carried a story about how the recession was leading to a drop in divorces, not so much because troubled marriages were suddenly fine again, but because couples couldn’t afford the legal fees and couldn’t sell the house in the current market. 

Recently, a study in the US, found a similar fall off in the number of divorces. Blogger Ross Douthat does a good job of detailing the rival explanations for this trend. 

He suggests there is a positive interpretation, which is that the recession is forcing people to work harder at their marriages, and a negative interpretation, namely that, as in Ireland, it is expensive legal fees and a sudden lack of cash that is behind the slowdown in the divorce rate there. 

Sadly, Douthat’s conclusion is that the negative interpretation is more persuasive.