Current Alberta Economy and Divorce
Are you stuck in a divorce rut? You want child support, some money from the house, or simply a final divorce, but none of those seem to be attainable any time soon? Right now, if you are successful at booking a child support hearing through the Court of King’s Bench, you can expect a Judge to look at your case ONE YEAR from now. Can you imagine what it is like for a single parent, with limited income, and limitless legal fees trying to make ends meet in this Alberta economy? Hurts my heart.
Maybe you’re one of the “lucky ones” who saw the wave of economic downturn approaching, and decided to stay put, continue living with your spouse separate but in the same house- until you have the means to divorce. In essence, you’re substituting personal freedom with joint financial stability and a sense of “normalcy”.
The issue that most people are facing stems from the current housing market, and increased mortgage rates. While in the past, ex-couples had two solid options for splitting their house; either one takes over the mortgage, and buys the other one out, or they sell it, cash out the equity and split it evenly between them. For many ex-couples, neither of these options is viable right now. Breaking the term of the mortgage and switching it from two names to one, means that you not only need to qualify on your own, but you can also expect your monthly payments to increase by hundreds of dollars. This can shape into hundreds of dollars a month. As for the second option, just sell the house, and split the proceeds 50/50- well houses are being sold for a lot less than they did only 6 months ago. So you both would be out tens of thousands of dollars. Also the housing situation is causing rent to also go up- making it harder for ex-couples to unhook and move on independently.
I met a woman recently who told me that she had been living in the same house with her ex-spouse. He sleeps in the basement and she in the master bedroom. However, because their adult child is not able to sustain living on his own, he is now moving back in with them and staying in the basement, forcing the woman and her ex to share a bedroom again!
In fact, I am seeing more and more of our clients agree in mediation to stay together even after they have started the divorce proceedings. It just makes more financial sense in the current economic circumstances. They usually agree on strict boundaries as they share space, co-parent, and even pay the household expenses. And it works for them. Would a similar arrangement work for you? Book a consultation and I can chat with you about it.
The decision to separate from your partner is not an easy one. The un-coupling of your relationship comes with all sorts of uncomfortable, and bitter feelings. In addition to the emotions, you must deal with the logistics of separation, such as dividing your assets and liabilities, finding a new home, and negotiating a parenting plan if you share children.