Many commentators have attributed a drop in the divorce rate in recent years to the economic downturn. One particular factor has been the severe reduction in real estate values in California and other states. Many couples who found they had reached an irreconcilable end may have been daunted by the challenges of establishing second households in a time of uncertainty.
Recent indicators suggest that divorce rates have begun to rise again across the country, a trend that may be due in part to an economic turnaround. The president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers commented this summer that its membership has seen an increase in clients seeking a divorce, and speculated that more people were ready to pursue significant changes. One major national provider of online divorce information reports that its traffic has increased significantly in 2010.
Regardless of the influence of an improving economy on this trend, every spouse who contemplates divorce must consider his or her future economic interests. Basic decisions like child support, property division and, often, spousal support are relevant to even the most basic uncontested dissolution. Particularly if they must divide more complex assets, divorcing spouses will need to be aware of the tax issues of divorce and other financial factors.
Setting the Stage for Future Financial Security
Financial complexity does not mean that a divorce must be contentious. By consulting with a law firm that practices collaborative law or other divorce mediation methods, spouses can learn about a range of options for achieving their goals. By taking early steps to evaluate all marital property and income, a couple can quickly identify potential sources of conflict.
Divorcing couples should know that there can be ways to divide a marital estate in an equitable manner. While all divorce issues — including child custody, visitation and one parent’s relocation — present the potential for conflict, an experienced family law attorney can help people understand their legal options and assess their full range of interests.