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Higher divorce rates accompany improving Nevada housing market

As we've discussed in the past on this blog, family finances play a big role in the state of a marriage, whether we like it or not. Couples vow to love each other and stay together for richer or poorer, but the reality is that during the poorer parts the financial struggle can take a toll on the relationship.

Unfortunately it is also during those poorer parts when actions like a legal separation or a divorce are not financially feasible, leaving many couples to try to fight it out in the same house even when it is clear that space is needed. However, now that the housing market is beginning to rebound in Nevada and elsewhere around the country some of the pent-up demand for a divorce is being released, leading to a slight increase in divorce rates.

In fact, here in Nevada, experts say there has been a 25 to 50 percent increase in divorce rates during the past year. Some couples may have been waiting to sell a house or for an underwater mortgage to recover before attempting to separate assets. Others may have recently found a better job or gotten a promotion at work, making living apart from their spouse more economically feasible.

One of the reasons why people wait until better financial circumstances to file for divorce is because of the costs associated with court appearances, custody hearings, and asset division. Some people are tempted to try to cut costs by taking offers for "quick and easy" divorces at a low flat fee. While this may be tempting as a short-term solution, a boilerplate divorce could wind up costing big in the future, particularly if the terms are unfavorable or simply don't work and the couple has to go back to court to try to undo the damage.

 

Source: The Fiscal Times, "As Home Values Rise, So Does Divorce," Blaire Broidy, May 17, 2013.