Real Estate Market Crash Effects Divorces

By shaye • June 14th, 2010

Pick up any newspaper today and you are likely to see at least one article or sidebar discussing the mortgage crisis. While there are still a few markets that have remained relatively untouched by the crash of the subprime market, most areas throughout the country have felt the impact in some way or another. As a result, there are few homeowners that have not felt the pinch of the crash. The ability to move on with life is being greatly impacted by the souring market for many consumers. Divorcing couples, in particular are finding that real estate market problems are preventing

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them from moving on with their lives.

It is not uncommon for many couples who are divorcing to sell the family home so they can take the proceeds of the home and then go their separate ways. As the number of homes sitting on the market in most areas continues to climb, most couples are finding it difficult if not impossible to sell their home. When the home does not sell, this has a direct correlation on the cash flow for the couple. A number of areas are impacted as a result including child support. Quite surprisingly, this problem is even impacting where divorced couples are able to live once the divorce becomes final.

As a result of these problems, there has been a significant rise in a trend known as post-marital cohabitation. While in the past it was practically unheard of for couples to continue to live together following their divorce, many people today are finding they have little choice when they are not able to sell the family home. Quite simply, they cannot afford to live anywhere else until the family home is sold.

As the average sell time for most homes increases, this means that many divorced couples may find they must continue to live together for several months; in some cases a year or more. Older couples who are living on a fixed income are finding this to be a particular problem as are couples with young children. In the case of the latter, the only options they can afford are simply too small for the size of the families.

In situations where couples simply can no longer abide living with another, they find themselves forced to live elsewhere even if it means moving in with family members.

Regardless of the situation, couples in such situations find they have limited options available to them. In situations where the couple is upside down because the value of their home fell after the housing boom ended, they must decide whether it is better to remain in the home until the market improves or try get out with a short sale. Other families are finding themselves facing foreclosure when they simply are no longer able to make mortgage payments.

The arguments over what to do with the family home have escalated to the point that in many cases judges are being put in the middle to sort matters out. This is particularly common in situations where one person wants to remain in the home until the market improves while the other wants to go ahead and sell the home even if it means doing so at a loss. In most situations judges are hesitant to issue orders to sell the home, assuming that the market will eventually rebound.

Heather Seitz is a national real estate investor, trainer and publisher and has worked with top advisors worldwide. To get current and accurate real estate investment tips and advice, visit and find out how you can get $852.90 in FREE real estate investing information delivered to your front door.


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