Divorce in a recession | Bellevue divorce attorney

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Andrew Kim
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Breaking up in a down real estate market is hard to do.  In most divorce cases, the house is the largest asset to be split between husband and wife and typically, one party relied on the share of the equity in the home awarded as part of the property division to get a fresh start in life.  Now, in the current market, you're lucky if you have any equity in the home.

The recession and bad real estate market has claimed another victim:  those going through a divorce.  We used to fight about who gets to keep the house and now we fight about who gets stuck with the dead cow.  One side effect of the decline in real estate, is that couples are deciding to stay together longer or even make arrangements to live in the same household after divorce sharing the expenses because neither can afford maintain the house on their own.  The husband may live on one floor and the wife on the other not unlike the movie "War of the Roses" where the house is divided by a big white line.  The family home has become a toxic asset.

The flip side of this where one spouse has the financial means to keep the house.  For example:

Josh Kaufman and his wife bought a 6,500-square-foot house outside Cleveland on 5-½ acres that was worth $1.5 million at the market's height.  When they divorced in June, Kaufman knew his wife could not afford to carry the home. The longer the divorce process continued, the more the house depreciated. By the time he assumed the house, its appraised value was half what the couple had put into it; he did not pay her anything for her share.  "From a negotiating standpoint we knew that she couldn't afford to stay in it," Kaufman said. "It appeared as an opportunity to turn the negative situation around. There was no emotion involved. It was a business decision on what made most financial sense. It wasn't an attempt to take advantage of someone."  Still, his lawyer, Andrew Zashin, said, "He bought this house at a bargain-basement price."

Whether the above scenario applies to you or not, you should consult with an experienced Bellevue, Seattle, Washington divorce attorney to provide you with the information you need to make a well informed decision. 

Call the Andrew Kim Law Firm at (425) 289-1990 for a free initial consultation.

Category: Divorce

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Bellevue Office
11900 NE 1st Street
Suite 300
Bellevue, WA 98005
Phone: (425) 289-1990
Fax: (425) 289-1991
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Bellevue Office
11900 NE 1st Street
Suite 300
Bellevue, WA 98005
Phone: (425) 289-1990
Fax: (425) 289-1991



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