Statisticians have historically had difficulty establishing a firm link between divorce and the economy. For instance, many divorce laws favor spouses who earn less than their husbands or wives. One might expect this to prompt more divorces, but the U.S. divorce rate has dropped significantly since the recession began. Some experts expected the economic downturn to cause marital difficulties and increase divorce, but attorneys say fewer couples have been seeking divorce in fear of bankruptcy.
Contradicting other research regarding the recession and its effects on divorce, a sociologist from the University of Maryland has found that high unemployment and high divorce rates do not appear to be related.