January 16, 2010

Couples Breaking Up Forced to Live Together

Posted in Divorce tagged at 10:47 pm by demetriagraves

There’s been much discussion lately regarding current economic hardships forcing couples who are having marital difficulties into remaining living together in the same house. When the economy was booming it was much easier to sell the family home, possibly even, making a decent profit, allowing couples to live apart and subsequently get divorced with a financial cushion.

A new survey in the U.K has shown that more than a quarter of cohabiting couples that break up are forced to continue living together because of the effects of the recession. Two-thirds of people who continue to share a property with a former partner said they cannot afford to move, while one in forty couples are unable to sell their homes because of negative equity or being ‘upside down’ on their home. 9.9 million adults have claimed that either they or someone they know are still living with a partner, despite going through a separation or divorce, as they cannot afford to live alone.

The recession seems to be preventing even more couples from making a clean break when they split up, forcing an increasing number of couples to share a property when they might not under different circumstances, putting strain on otherwise happy relationships. Unfortunately, those same financial stresses that make the break-up process so difficult are often a key reason for the break up. And although people are aware of the negative equity trap that many divorcing couples face, even less are aware of the heartache this is causing cohabiting couples who have split up. Unfortunately relationships do break down which is painful enough, but being forced to carry on living with an ex-partner, even for a short time, must add real pressure to the situation.Traditionally when couples felt it was the end of the road for their relationship, one partner would leave. Now it seems that many couple are waiting until the pressure reaches boiling point before one partner decides they have to leave. This can mean that the partner left behind may be forced to rent out rooms to borders as a way of holding on to the family home, which they probably would have sold in a better housing market. Now because selling their home wouldn’t pay off their mortgage they are forced to hold on to the home as long as they can.

Traditionally when couples felt it was the end of the road for their relationship, one partner would leave. Now it seems that many couple are waiting until the pressure reaches boiling point before one partner decides they have to leave. This can mean that the partner left behind may be forced to rent out rooms to borders as a way of holding on to the family home, which they probably would have sold in a better housing market. Now because selling their home wouldn’t pay off their mortgage they are forced to hold on to the home as long as they can.

The possibility that so many of us has either experienced or knows someone that has experienced this situation, means this may be more widespread a problem than we realized. They key question is, are we as a society ready to accept the human cost that these difficult circumstances can bring?

My goal is to make divorce proceedings as painless as possible, allowing my clients to make a fresh start. This is why part of my action plan is to address any financial barriers that may be forcing unhappy couples to remain living together because of difficult financial circumstances. If you feel that this situation applies to you, don’t despair. There is hope and the best decisions can be made when you have the right advice.

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