Divorce rates spike in poor economy - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Divorce rates spike in poor economy

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Madison (WKOW) -- How to handle the checkbook can be tough enough on marriages, but doing it during tough financial times may just be the breaking point.

"To a very unfortunate extent, people sometimes judge their personal value, their personal worth, by how much they earn, or perhaps by how much they have," said Madison lawyer Richard Jacobson.

Jacobson said he's not surprised divorce rates are spiking, especially with an economy in the tank.

               Sept. '07   Sept. '08   % increase

Rock              42          54           28%

Sauk              19          26           37%

Green             5            8            60%

Richland          5            5             0%

Columbia         10          24          140%

Dane             100         127          27%

Iowa              6             7            17%

Experts say in times of financial turmoil, couples feel embarrassed, nervous, and stressed when the bills pile up.

"You're ashamed to show it to the spouse, who may think you're less of a man, or less of a person," said Jacobson. "They've spent a lot of needless money on a lot of foolish things, and they can't pay for it. And everybody starts blaming everybody else."

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