A Nationwide study reports that many married couples are opting for long-term separation because they cannot afford to divorce - especially if there are children involved. The study found that couples who remain separated are more disadvantaged than those who end up divorcing. In addition, those who separated without divorcing also tended to have more children than those who divorced. This is likely because, “Those with young children may find it difficult to support themselves and their children if they divorce. Divorce may not protect them because their spouse may be unwilling or unable to provide financial support.” Though the number of people who choose to separate is decreasing, the time couples spend in separation is increasing, with the current economic status making these trends likely to continue. The study suggests that the disadvantaged will likely continue to choose the low-cost, do-it-yourself option of long-term separation unless a more economical alternative becomes available.