Divorce inquiries increasing during recession

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Inquiries to attorneys and financial advisers about such issues as how to protect property during a divorce are increasing dramatically in China on fears of a prolonged recession, according to a Reuters story.

You've probably heard of the long-held tact of holding off on asking for a divorce until after the holidays in order to give relatives and any children involved a peaceful Christmas. And with the holidays now over, couples now face a double whammy with a global recession in full swing. According to the Reuters story, it looks like low home values and a recession can strain marriages, leading to divorce.

Wealthy spouses were looking to strike a deal while asset values were down, the China Daily reported.

"While facing tough financial times is not usually the main reason couples split, it can serve as the last straw for already strained marriages or add new concerns to divorces under way," the newspaper said, quoting "marriage advisers."

The China News Service reported the number of people seeking divorce advice increased 30% in the second half of the year. A worker at China's first marriage and finance firm said it is receiving many questions about how to avoid paying off debts after the divorce and that telephone inquiries have increased from 200 to 300 in recent months.

But the high cost of divorce in China may be putting some off, considering the difficulty of selling their homes at a reasonable price and maintaining two separate households.

There were 2.1 million divorces in China in 2007, nearly seven times the figure in 1980 when nationwide economic reforms were launched, the China Daily quoted the Ministry of Civil Affairs as saying.

Aaron Crowe is an unemployed journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read about his job search at www.talesofanunemployeddad.blogspot.com

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