Could divorce be the next big business niche?
Did you know the bridal industry is a $2 billion industry? But no one really knows how much money is involved in the divorce industry. Every year, one million couples divorce in the United States, meaning two million people are starting life anew. In fact, it may not surprise many Virginians that 67 percent of all second marriages end in divorce and that figure is even higher for third marriages. These divorces require a variety of professional services from divorce attorneys to movers, financial planners and therapists, to name just a few.
Divorce has never really been viewed as a niche industry in the past, but that is changing, according to one of the founders of Start Over Smart, an expo business that unites a plethora of services for the newly divorced. Capitalism is all about serving the needs of the market, but it can be difficult to market to an industry that still has some elements of negativity attached to it. Divorce is indeed a growing industry as the divorce rate seems to indicate, so businesses are starting to pay attention to the needs of this niche market.
Divorce Expos are the latest trend and you may have heard about the "Divorce Hotel," a one-stop weekend getaway where you can walk in married and leave a few days later divorced. Highly unlikely it would work for the more complex high-asset divorces or those involving child custody disputes however. Much is involved in getting a divorce, not just the division of marital property, such as retirement accounts and investment, not to mention liabilities that it would seem rather far-fetched to think all of these issues could be worked out in just a few days.
Still, the business of divorce is gaining attention in the business world. Seventy percent of adults in 1960 were married, compare that to less than 50 percent in 2010. Companies are working with more and more people who are divorced or separated. And as the economy bounces back, including the stock market, more couples actually have assets to divide rather than debt. More and more people are feeling they can actually afford to get divorced.
Source: CNBC, "The Big Business of Divorce," Brian A. Schactman, July 2, 2012