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Bad Economy Doesn’t Necessarily Lead To Divorce

By ABC-7 Anchor/Reporter Stephanie Valle

EL PASO, TX — A recent survey of the nation’s top divorce lawyers shows fewer couples pursue a legal end to their marriages when the economy is sour.

According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), 37% of attorneys polled say they handle fewer divorce cases when the economy is not doing well. Only 19% of lawyers said they saw an increase.

According to the District Clerk’s office, the number of new divorce filings has dropped from the beginning of 2006 to the present day by 182, with only 3,898 cases officially filed in the office in 2008.

With the economy in an official recession, one local attorney says she has seen fewer people coming to her for assistance in legally ending their marriages.

“The filing fees, attorney’s fees, all of that- they see this as a luxury. So that’s why they’re holding it back,” says Marlene Gonzalez, attorney at law.

Gonzalez says she still gets calls from El Pasoans wanting to learn their legal rights when it comes to divorce. But she has not seen those calls translate into divorce cases.

“They understand that by doing it by themselves is going to be costly because they’re going to have to double the expenses of rent, utilities, and the bills,” Gonzalez says.

Court costs for filing for divorce costs $253, not including attorney fees.

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