Traditionally, autumn is a boom season for divorce, particularly for couples, who wait out the summer before returning home to cut their marital ties. Last fall was different.
“In September and October of 2008, which would ordinarily be important months for divorce lawyers, the stock market went bananas, and we experienced an extraordinary hit,” says Robert Dobrish, a senior partner at Dobrish Zeiff Gross LLP in Manhattan.
In November, respondents to a survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported, by a two-to-one margin, that they typically see a decline in the number of divorces during national economic downturns. Real estate is a huge factor.
Real estate normally represents a third or more of a couples assets. Home values had taken a hit over the past 18 months. What we’ve seen is homes taking much longer to sell or not sell at all.There has to be enough money for the other person to go out and buy another home.
“It’s been more than a year that people have been holding back, and that’s a long time to hold back in a bad relationship.” Says Dobrish