San Jose Divorce Attorney Discusses How the Recession Changes Face of Divorce in California
As the economic downturn continues to damage housing values, force job losses and cuts in services, one thing that has not changed is that couples are still divorcing, child support is still being sought, and property is still being divided. What has changed is how those divorces are proceeding, in terms of financial awards and assets.
One of the largest assets in any divorce is typically the house. That asset used to have, particularly in California, equity which could be used to either buy the other party out or sold and divided equally between the parties. Frequently, we are now seeing that the houses not only have no equity, but that the parties owe substantially more than the house is worth, and often, the parties are behind on payments, or will be when the two-income household is no longer in existence. This poses a dilemma for family courts, parties and attorneys – how do we get divide a negative asset? Every couple has to decide for themselves, but options include a short sale, returning the property to the bank, or allowing the party who can make the mortgage to assume responsibility for the property.
Other issues being affected by the recession include child and spousal support. As one or both party loses their jobs, the need for support increases, but often the income that maintained the standard of living during marriage is no longer available to the parties. This lack of income can force families to make hard decisions about where to live, where to send children to school, and how to get buy on substantially less income.
The recession has also pummeled many people’s retirements, leaving many spouses wondering what happened to the financial nest egg. Fortunately, many 401(k) type accounts can be divided in kind, so that as the financial markets change and begin to recover, so too will the 401(k).
Here at Sagaria Law, we offer a full range of family law and legal services including divorce, paternity, adoption, child custody and visitation matters, child support, spousal support, alimony, juvenile dependency, domestic violence, division of property, grandparent visitation and custody, etc. We have seven Northern California locations including San Jose, San Francisco, Redwood City, Fremont, Salinas, Roseville and Sacramento. We offer a free thirty minute consultation, either in person at any of our offices, or over the phone. Call our offices today and we can connect you with an attorney immediately or we can schedule your free consultation with one of our family law attorneys: (408) 279-2288 or (800) 941-6730 or visit www.sagarialaw.com