Articles Posted in Economy

During the recession, filing for divorce is a difficult decision. With housing values depressed and jobs disappearing in South Florida, divorce has become a luxury for many residents. Nowadays, there is often not enough money to maintain separate households or to hire a divorce attorney in Fort Lauderdale to go to court and fight over alimony, child support and child custody matters.

Lately, many clients have been living together during and after their divorce. Some have filed for bankruptcy. Others have realized that they are upside down with the values of their homes. In many cases, marital and family law attorneys in Miami-Dade have dealt with clients who only require equitable distribution of debt during their divorce case.

During 2008, there were 838,000 divorces granted in 44 states, a slight decline from the previous year when 56,000 divorces were granted. These days working class couples are vulnerable to file for a divorce since they feel the impact of unemployment. However, the recession has created many unhappy couples who would like to file for divorce but will be required to wait until the economy rebounds.

If you file for divorce in Broward, your attorney may suggest that you retain a forensic accountant to value the marital business. However, in these uncertain economic times the values of marital assets are volatile and may fluctuate after trial and before the marital and family court in Florida enters the final judgment of dissolution of marriage. In the case of Mistretta v. Mistretta, the Miami Herald is reporting that First District Court of Appeal ruled that the trial court erred in revisiting the equitable distribution due to the economic recession

In the final judgment of dissolution of marriage entered on August 25, 2008, the trial court distributed the marital business to the Husband, assigned a date of valuation of October 31, 2007 and ordered the Husband to make a one time cash equalization payment of $845,000 to the Wife. The Husband requested a new trial and valuation of the business relying upon the economic recession that began in December, 2007 as “newly discovered evidence.” The trial court granted the Husband’s motion.

Rehearing or a new trial based upon newly discovered evidence is permitted when it appears that the evidence will possibly change the result if a new trial is granted, the evidence has been discovered since trial, the evidence could not have been discovered before trial by the exercise of due diligence, the evidence is material to the issue and the evidence is not just cumulative or impeaching. The alleged “newly discovered evidence” cannot simply show some change in circumstance since the trial.

Residents of Broward cities such as Hollywood, Weston, Davie and Plantation may find themselves having disagreements with their spouse over marital finances. With unemployment at an all time high and a depressed real estate market, finance related tension is causing couples to speak to and retain a Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney.

The New York Times is reporting that finance related tension between married couples raises the risk of divorce. A recent study from Utah State University found that couples who disagree about finances one time per week were over 30 percent more likely to get divorced than couples who reported disagreeing about finances a few times a month.

2800 couples were asked, separately, about how often they had a disagreement with their spouse over chores, in-laws, spending time together, sex and money. Several years later, these couples were contacted again and asked if they were still married. Out of all of the items that couples fight over, money disputes were most indicative of a divorce. While wives believed that disputes over finances and sex were good predictors of divorce, they believed that finance disputes were much stronger predictors. For husbands, they believed that financial disagreements were the highest indicator of whether they would get divorced.

The Miami Herald is reporting that many couples in Miami-Dade, Broward and South Florida are staying together or appearing pro se (without a lawyer) because they are unable to pay a divorce attorney. Some divorce lawyers in Aventura, Sunny Isles Beach, Miami, Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale state that their divorce business is down as much as 35%. In addition, many potential new clients do not appear for their consultation because they are embarrassed that they can not afford the consultation fee.

According to court records, 16,868 divorces were granted in 2006 in Miami-Dade, 16,005 in 2007 and 14,631 in 2008. In Broward, 11,179 cases were filed in 200, 9,876 in 2007 and 8,924 in 2008. Circuit Court Judge Sandy Karlan, administrative judge of the family division of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Miami-Dade, believes that there has been an increase in modification of divorce agreements and support payments as well as spouses seeking contempt remedies to enforce their alimony and child support. In addition, Judge Karlan has observed couples continuing to live in their marital residence after the entry of the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.

The economy appears to have a greater effect on the lower and middle class more than the wealthy. Many potential clients are requesting free consultations but have no intentions of retaining a Miami or Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer. Marital and family law attorneys are also dealing with many cases where a spouse is unable to live up to the terms and conditions of their marital settlement agreement.

The troubling economy may be downsizing the number of divorce filings in Miami-Dade and Broward county. According to a recent survery of lawyers involved with the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 57% of attorneys have reported fewer divorce filings since the last quarter of 2008. On the contrary, 14% reported an increase in divorce filings.
The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers encourages the study, improving practice, eleveating the standards and advancing the cause of marital and family law in the United States and Fort Lauderdale. However, if you are not receiving any child support from your spouse, you should talk to a Broward divorce lawyer about the different options that are available to you. Staying in a marriage as a result of the recession may be detrimental to both you and your minor children.

Monroe County, Florida which is south of Broward and Miami-Dade has the second highest rate of divorced residents in the United States of America. 18.3%, or 11,473 of Monroe County’s 62,229 have hired a divorce lawyer or proceeded without a divorce lawyer in obtaining a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage or have divorced somewhere along the way. Census reports indicated that 6,829 men and 4,644 women are divorced in The Florida Keys.

The Florida Keys atmosphere may play a role in these statistical figures. The Florida Keys is a place of escape. There has been economic problems in Monroe County just like every other county in Florida. Other counties in Florida that are included in the top ten counties in the nation for percentage of divorced residents include Putnam in North Florida and Pinelles on the west coast, both which report rates higher than 16%.

When you meet with your Broward divorce attorney, you are most likely to ask about the equitable distribution of your assets. Your Ft. Lauderdale divorce lawyer will also discuss with you matters pertaining to child support and alimony. Whether you live in Plantation, Coral Springs, Cooper City or Pembroke Pines, the recession has not only affected businesses and individuals in your area but also will impact your divorce in Broward County, Florida.

The recession requires concessions amongst couples who file for divorce. During a good economy, when there is greater wealth, couples will hire divorce lawyers and fight. These days, clients are requesting to attend mediation soon rather than later. Individuals are less inclined to drag out the divorce proceeding in court, fighting over the division of diminished assets.

Divorcing couples can not often afford two different homes. Sometimes they have to live together since the marital residence will not sell. The husband and wife must make accommodations for each other such as each party living in separate bedrooms. However, these couples share household chores, parenting responsibilities and baby sitting arrangements.

When you meet with your divorce lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, you will soon understand that there is never a best time to file for divorce. However, if a man is considering filing for divorce in the Broward County marital and family law court, the recession might be the time to do it. Divorce attorneys in Miami and Fort Lauderdale have exlained to clients that income, business values and assets have decreased in their present values.

For men, it may be less painful to walk away now. For women, it is important to think about whether they should file for divorce now before assets and income continue to decrease in value. However, couples throughout Florida believe that they should not file for divorce during the recession because of the need for dual incomes.

In Miami-Dade and Broward County, the business of divorce is slightly down from the number of filings one year ago. Throughout the state of Florida, new divorce filings fell from 21,333 in the first quarter of 2008 to 18,028 in the first quarter of 2009. In Miami-Dade County, new divorce filings fell from 3,239 in the first quarter of 2008 to 3,196 during the same quarter in 2009. In Broward County, new divorce filings fell from 2,148 in the first quarter of 2008 to 1,543 in the first quarter in 2009.

One of the factors that couples need to consider when filing for a divorce in Fort Lauderdale is the economic implications placed upon parties during the pendency of and after a divorce. In Broward County, it is important to discuss the impact of the recession with your marital and family law attorney before entering into a marital settlement agreement.

In many divorce cases, a husband and wife decide that they do not want to be married to each other. While they are ready to move forward in their lives, they can not afford to move out of the marital residence. Couples do not want to sell their home during a decline in the real estate market. In other instances, the parties can not afford two households until one of them finds a new job. In the interim, couples are residing in the same marital residence but on different floors. Children are generally acceptable to these conditions and understand that mom lives upstairs and dad lives downstairs.

While proceeding with your divorce case can be complex or inexpensive, the recession has complicated the process further. Many individuals are delaying the decision to file for divorce or are living in uncomfortable marriages due to the economic crisis. Other couples continue to reside together after the divorce as a result of financial necessity. It is unclear how the recession is affecting divorce rates overall because of the delay in compiling economic data. However, what is clear is that parties have been forced to become creative in order to adjust to these turbulent economic times.

If a man is going to file for divorce in Broward County, the recession might be the time to do it. Fort Lauderdale divorce attorneys have found that incomes, business assets and other holdings have decreased in value. In a strong economy, men do not believe there assets are valued at such a high level when it comes time to equitably divide the marital assets and liabilities.

Strategizing is common when a spouse files for a divorce. The recession may play a part of your strategy. For women, they may argue that they need additional alimony and child support of they have been laid off from their job. But for men, if a guy is impoverished, it is going to give him an advantage in arguing that his wife should take on more of the debt.

If you are planning to file for divorce, you should speak to your Broward County marital and family law attorney. It is important to discuss the best time financially for you and your spouse to file for divorce.

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