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Separation more practical than divorce for low income couples

Researchers in America have found that many couples on low incomes are opting to live with a long-term separation rather than get a divorce.

“Long-term separation seems to be the low-cost, do-it-yourself alternative to divorce for many disadvantaged couples,” said Dmitry Tumin, co-author of the study and a doctoral student in sociology at Ohio State University.

“Separation may not be their first choice, but they may feel it is their best choice.”

Research has also found that the number of couples choosing separation is falling, but the length of time couples remain in separation has increased. Researchers suggest these developments might be due in part to the increasing availability of “no-fault” divorces, which have reduced the requirement for separation as a prerequisite for divorce.

According to Zhenchao Qian, professor of sociology at Ohio State, this means that couples undergoing a long-term separation may not have the financial or social resources to divorce.

“Tough economic times are likely to make these trends continue,” Qian said.

“Long-term separation may continue to be the norm for the disadvantaged unless they can see a better alternative, both in terms of spousal availabilities and economic independence.”

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