Surviving Divorce

Posted on March 9, 2009 by Gail Otis

Going through a divorce is difficult at any time, but has become even more so as a result of the many problems that many face in this recession. Perhaps the most difficult to resolve is what to do with the former marital home if there is no equity due to the downturn in the real estate market. Because there is no easy answer to this, many couples are trying to be creative in order to preserve their investment. Some are agreeing to postpone sale of the home until the market improves, which usually means that one party, and typically the children if any, remains in the home until it is possible to list the home for sale.

Another effect of the recession is the loss of jobs, and the resulting increase in the filing of complaints for modification to decrease child support obligations, and/or alimony obligations. Child support is modifiable and many divisions of the Massachusetts Probate & Family Court have reported increases in these actions. Whether an alimony obligation is modifiable depends upon the terms of the divorce or separation agreement. It is advisable to review your agreement and to seek the advice of counsel to determine whether modification is possible.

For those who would like to proceed with a divorce despite the financial difficulties that many face, there are options: mediation and collaborative process are two options in addition to filing a contested divorce action. Mediation will typically be a less expensive process than litigation. Collaborative process is often less expensive than litigation, but not always so. In collaborative process, the parties and their counsel sign an agreement not to file anything with the court and to work together to resolve their divorce in a way that benefits the family as a whole. If the process breaks down, and either party seeks to litigate, both parties must retain new counsel. For a review of collaborative law, visit the website of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Counsel, at www.mclc.org.

Divorce, Preparing for Divorce Tags: alimony, Child Support, collaborative process, Divorce, mediation, modification, property, separation agreements Comments (0) Trackbacks (0)

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