Tough real estate market leaves divorcing couples in New Jersey with tough choices and few options


tough real estate market, divorce
Divorcing in a tough real estate market?

A few years ago, there was a pile up of homes in New Jersey that were deemed “unsellable” and this created a huge challenge for people getting divorced and needing to unload their marital residence. These days, the so called “tough real estate market” continues to mushroom proving my point that “tough real estate market, divorce” should be a hashtag. This tough real estate market is having a very serious effect on couples in the divorce process. Many are left with having to make tough choices, like: staying together and eschewing divorce even if the marriage is miserable; living under the same roof even after the divorce has been adjudicated; filing bankruptcy; taking responsibility for a mortgage if one spouse just doesn’t have the financial wherewithal to split the debt; renting the home and splitting the rent proceeds as a form of financial settlement; selling the house for less than the note; and other undesirable options.

This article in New Jersey dot com highlights the problem:

The sad fact of the matter is, this is not a thing of the past and it is not only happening in New Jersey, but it could happen anywhere and when there is a tough real estate market, couples really struggle with finalizing their divorce.

This makes divorce lawyers’ jobs that much more challenging, according to the article:

“Lawyers today also are forced to wear many hats — financial adviser, real estate agent, career counselor, therapist. It’s devastating for us as divorce attorneys because there are no real answers for people,” said Vikki Ziegler, a family lawyer in Roseland. Each blip in the economy has vast ramifications for how a couple will structure its settlement. Lawyers now maneuver deflated retirement accounts and how to set alimony when one spouse has been laid off. But the housing market’s effect on divorce proceedings has surprised even veteran attorneys.

“It makes it more difficult to settle a divorce case,” said North Brunswick-based matrimonial attorney Len Busch. And Busch said the more a couple squabbles over these details, the more legal fees rack up and the process slows. Read more here.

image credit