How Do Natural Disasters Impact Divorce Rates?

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In the midst of all the chaos that has gone on in Houston due to Hurricane Harvey, and the disastrous impact that Hurricane Irma produced, natural disasters remain a hot topic of conversation. In addition to all of the physical and financial damage that these natural disasters cause, these natural disasters also have a substantial impact on marriages and likelihood for divorce. Logically, one may think that a natural disaster would lead to a decrease in divorce likelihood, as people are likely to confide in those closest to them during times of emergency and tragedy. This line of thinking has proved to be true in man-made catastrophes; however, the impact natural disasters have on marriages is more complex than this line of reasoning known as the attachment theory.

According to an article from Slate, “while divorce rates decrease after man-made catastrophes, they tend to increase after natural disasters.” For example, the article mentioned how Hurricane Katrina had a significant impact on the divorce rate in New Orleans. It explained that prior to the hurricane in New Orleans in 2005, the divorce rate in the Orleans Parish was at 2.3 per 1,000 people and this statistic almost doubled following Katrina as the divorce rate increased to 4.4 per 1,000 people. The divorce rate in Dade County, Florida sky rocketed by 30 percent after Hurricane Andrew. Even dating back to 1989, when Hurricane Hugo swept across South Carolina, an already rising divorce rate experienced a slight increase.

The article from Slate also made note of the distinguishing factor between the impact that natural disasters have on marriages versus the impact that a man made catastrophe has, is that in manmade catastrophes such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks, these types of attacks make people more aware of death but still do not put such a strain on daily causes of stress that make a substantial impact on a marriage. On the other hand, people effected by natural disasters experience substantial hardships in their everyday life, severe financial burdens and increased exposure to anxiety and depression. All of these various stress inducing factors that natural disasters bring about, make it more likely to contribute to the destruction of a marriage or relationship.

If you are considering a divorce, want to ensure that you take the necessary time to properly address all of your issues and concerns, and would like to speak to a respected and experienced Long Island Divorce Attorney, contact the offices of Jay D. Raxenberg. Call (516) 491-0565 or toll free at (888) 543-4867.

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