According to the Chicago Tribune, the number of U.S. commuter marriages continue to rise, reaching an estimated 3.5 million couples aged 18 years or older in 2011. The U.S. Census Bureau states that this figure has increased by approximately 17% since 2001. One major factor that may contribute to the rise in commuter marriages is the weak economy and job loss, which may cause a spouse to seek employment far away from home.
In the typical commuter marriage, one spouse stays in the couple’s primary home, while the other spouse spends a significant amount of each week or month in a rented apartment or home near his or her workplace, which is often in another state altogether. Some spouses save costs by rooming with other commuters, staying in family homes, or other alternative arrangements. Nonetheless, the costs of constant travel, double utilities, double rent, extra childcare and domestic help, and dual state taxes still add up considerably. Still, many couples insist that the commuter marriage still makes them better off financially, even considering the dual living and transportation costs.
Despite the growing prevalence of commuter marriages, the stresses and difficulties of a largely long-distance relationship are very real. Couples have to make great efforts to stay connected, and use their limited time together to nurture their relationship. While there are no statistics showing that divorce rates are higher for commuter marriages than for more traditional marriages, U.S. divorce rates already hover around 50 – 60%. Add the stress of a commuter marriage, and it is likely that these marriages end in divorce at least as often as other marriages.
If you are considering divorce, you will need the advice of a skilled Naperville, Illinois divorce lawyer to help plead your case while keeping your family’s best interests in mind. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment for an initial consultation.