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Why the Real Estate Recession is Halting Divorces

According to a study by the University of Virginia's National Marriage Project called "The Great Recession and Marriage", almost 40% of couples who were considering a divorce before the recession have decided to stay together.

Let's take a closer look at this number. Many of these couples (about 29%) actually said the recession deepened their commitment to their marriage. These couples chose to stay together and work out their differences, after recognizing what was important to them when tough times hit. Other couples, however, put their divorce plans on hold simply because they were worried about the declining value of their home, and their ability to pay for a divorce and support two households.

While unemployment went up by 6% in the last 3 years, 29% of survey respondents reported reduced income, and 34% said they had trouble paying the monthly bills. At the same time, home values declined almost 30%! The reality of the situation is that couples simply cannot afford to take large losses on their homes; they can't get bank approval for a short sale, and they don't have the cash to make up the negative equity.

Sadly, home prices don't seem to be taking an upward turn any time soon, so if you and your spouse are considering splitting up, but are hesitant to do so because of your home's lowered value, we recommend that you speak with real estate, legal, and financial professionals to discuss the best options for handling your situation. (Source: Why the Real Estate Recession is Halting Divorces)

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