Divorce Generation X-Style

The divorce rate seems to have dropped during the recession.  Some people who have contacted me told me that they have decided to stay together because they “cannot afford” to get divorced.  The reasons given to me are usually one or more of the following:  one spouse has lost their job, the couple’s house is “underwater”, or both are too deeply in debt to afford the court filing fees. 


nother set of reasons was offered by Susan Gregory Thomas in her article “The Divorce Generation,” published in the Wall Street Journal on July 9, 2011.  According to Ms. Thomas, many Generation X parents experienced traumatizing divorces when their own parents divorced.  Thus, many Gen X parents are convinced that they will stay together, for the sake of the children.   She describes the lifestyle for many Generation X couples – they may marry later, be more discriminating about who they marry, and live together prior to marriage to make sure they will be compatible roommates.  Although the statistics Ms. Thomas provided indicate that the divorce rate is lower, divorces still occur, even in the best of situations.

She discusses that although many divorces are painful, even wrenching, that some of the intensely negative feelings can be ameliorated by a so-called “friendly divorce.”.  Many Gen X parents are using alternatives to divorce, such as mediation, instead of the traditional  two-attorny, confilct-driven court case type of divorces.  Mediation does, indeed, help couples to reach their won agreements, develop workable parenting plans, and allows couples to retain a more cordial relationship.  After all, if they have children, they will need to be able to speak civilly and work out issues for quite some time into the futue.  It sounds like many Gen X parents are willing to try a different way of handling divorce – and kudos to them for being open-minded!

About wendy

Wendy W. Spencer, CFP, CDFA is a Certified Financial Planner, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, and a family law mediator who helps divorcing individuals, couples, and families to review and obtain more sensible settlement options. Ms. Spencer also helps these families to resolve their differences through mediation and/or participation in the collaborative divorce process. For the convenience of clients throughout the Denver metro area, Ms. Spencer has two offices - one in Arvada and one in Southeast Denver.
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