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Fewer Jobs Mean More Work for Divorce Attorneys

By Kevin Fayle | Last updated on
Unemployment rates are at the worst levels in 30 years, and the situation seems to deteriorate a little more each day.  But there's a silver lining for divorce attorneys: Higher unemployment rates can lead to more work as divorced workers who have lost their jobs apply for modifications to child support or alimony payments, according to the results of a recent survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML).The AAML reports that 39% of its members have seen an increase in the amount of modifications being made to child support payments.  In addition, 42% of the group's members stated that the number of changes to alimony payments has risen as well.  Only 5% and 6% of members reported a decline in these areas, respectively.

"When a divorced person loses a job or has take a pay cut, a request to make modifications to a child support or alimony payment arrangement often follows," said Gary Nickelson, president of the AAML. "With job losses becoming so widespread, our members are subsequently noticing a sizeable increase of these modifications taking place."

So while the rising unemployment in the US is bad for most people, it's turned into a good deal for many divorce attorneys.  Plus, this is a development that should provide work twice: Once now, and presumably once again when the economy improves, people find new jobs, and the spouse and/or caregiver then requests a modification back to pre-downturn levels.

Are the results of the survey surprising, or fairly obvious?  Have any of your practice areas unexpectedly improved as a result of the economic downturn?

See Also:
FindLaw's Family Law Center
Legal Records for Divorce Lawyers
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