There has been much talk in the news, on family law list serves and in other media that the economy is slowing divorce rates. In following some of the anecdotal evidence, this may be true in some states and places and not as true in others who report that divorce filings have not changed. Other than the usual slow down right before the holidays (which is usually followed by the New Years resolution rush of divorce filings), I have not seen much of a slow down.
That said, these times should by necessity to cause people to think out of the box in terms of the usual paradigms that we had been following over the last several years.
Yes the real estate market is down. That may be good for a party wanting to stay in a house. Or, maybe parties will consider working together to defer distribution until some future time when the real estate market rebounds. That may be a fair resolution. To read a related post on the value of real estate in divorce matters, click here.
Maybe someones income is down or has lost their job because of the unprecedented economic times. If this is a real loss/reduction of income as opposed to divorce planning, maybe things such as a review of alimony and child support in a year or two or three, may be fair. Maybe a formula approach may be fair where the support is based upon some base amount of income perhaps higher than someone is earning but lower than the historical income, with a formula to share in income above the base, up to some cap. While typically a yearly exchange of income information is disfavored, maybe that needs to be considered where income now is not what it was. To see a related post on this topic, click here.
While it is true that the economy may create challenges, it is not necessarily an absolute impediment from people freeing themselves from what they see as an unhappy if not impossible situation. Rather, it may take creative thinking, if not a cooperative approach to get to a fair result.