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?