Improved housing market leads to more divorce filings

The housing market has rebounded in most parts of the United States, which is great news for people who have been putting off divorce for the past few years. Yes, you read that right. One side effect of the recession and housing market crash was that fewer people pursued divorce, family law experts say.

One of the biggest reasons for this trend was that home values plunged, which meant that a couple’s divorce could result in big financial losses. While homes were once a couple’s largest asset, they became a couple’s biggest debt in many cases. As a result, many people chose to wait out the poor economic times in unhappy marriages.

Since home prices have gone up in many areas, couples once again have equity in their homes to split during their divorce. Not only can these funds provide down-payment money for new residences, the couple doesn’t have to worry about foreclosure or which spouse will take over the upside-down mortgage.

It’s important to keep in mind that marital assets and debts are split roughly in half during divorce. In some cases, it can be difficult to determine which assets and debts are marital and which are separate. Typically, all assets and debts accumulated during the marriage are considered marital, with a few exceptions for inheritances and gifts.

An experienced family law attorney can help explain how property, including real estate, is divided in divorce, and how the outcome of your divorce may look with regard to achieving an equitable division of marital property.

Source: LA Times, “Divorces increase as improving economy makes split-ups affordable,” Stuart Pfeifer, Sept. 18, 2013

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