A recent online article I came across discussed the interesting issue of whether a spouse’s job loss has an impact on whether the parties will divorce. The author related anecdotally his own experience in having been laid off and how he believed this job loss had served as the catalyst for his divorce.
The article described how the author’s subsequent job search dragged out despite his best efforts and how his wife, understandably, became more and more concerned for the family. In this regard, he related how his wife became more tense and fearful, which led to stress between the two of them. Continue reading “Employment and its Influence on Divorce”→
Frequently during a matrimonial litigation, there is one spouse who wants the marital home sold immediately (e.g., the husband who moved out of the home) and one spouse who wants to wait to sell the home (e.g., the wife with the children). Can the husband force the sale of the home over the wife’s objection? The answer, as you might expect, is: sometimes. But those “sometimes” have more to do with the financial condition of the family than of the individual preference of the one party who wants to sell.
Generally, it is true that a Court will not order a final distribution or sale of an asset until time of judgment. But if it is clear to the Court that this house is “underwater” and that this family does not have the financial means to maintain the house and pay the mortgage, a Court will often direct that the house be sold. The thought process is that the parties’ assets should be preserved to the extent possible. If foreclosure proceedings have already commenced, the likelihood of a Court-ordered sale become much higher than if there are no foreclosure proceedings. In fact, in these economic times, the short-sale of a home may be a prudent business decision that may help salvage limited marital assets.
In the past, the equity in the marital home was often the parties’ most significant asset. The equity in the marital home was used to offset value in other assets for purposes of asset division. In the current real estate market, however, given the drastic reduction in property values and the frequent inability to sell at any “reasonable” price, the marital home (or any other real estate subject to equitable distribution) may instead become a liability, not an asset. Instead of wanting to keep the asset, the parties may be fighting over who is responsible to financially maintain that property.