Apart from protecting their kids from the trauma of divorce, discontented couples might just have another reason to stick together - environment.
For the first time, scientists have calculated the extent to which divorce damages the environment.
Researchers from the Michigan University studied 12 countries and found that the collective use of electricity across the two new households created rose 53 percent while water use was up by 42 percent.
Across America, for instance, divorced households used 73 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2005 that could have been saved if the families had not separated.
Broken couples also raise demand for house building and infrastructure such as new roads, the authors said.
"The global trend of soaring divorce rates has created more households with fewer people, has taken up more space and has gobbled up more energy and water," Times Online quoted lead author Jianguo Liu.
The study discovered that the average number of rooms per household was between 33 percent and 95 percent higher for divorced couples than for married ones.
Liu also quantified that America now has an extra 38.5m rooms in houses and apartments built to meet the demand for more accommodation caused by divorce over the past three decades.
The growth of single-person households is also damaging the environment, he said.
He also showed that one-person households are the biggest consumers of energy, land and household goods, such as washing machines, refrigerators, TVs and stereos, and per capita, as they consume 38 percent more products, 42 percent more packaging, 55 percent more electricity and 61 percent more gas per capita than four-person households.
People living alone create 1― tons of waste annually compared with a ton by those in households of four or more, the study said.
The findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.