Sunday, March 1, 2009

Living With Your Ex: Money Woes Stall Living Apart

My ex and I stayed in the same house while we were divorcing far longer than we should have. It was torture and set-up waiting for a crime of passion, but I heard yesterday that more couples are choosing to divorce but still live together, dividing living space, because they can't afford to live separately and due to the housing market, cannot sell their homes.

In a different version of the video above, CNN's Christine Romans asks "Once you decide to untie the knot, what happens if you can't sell the house?"

I suppose we were fortunate because we sold our home about a year before the bottom fell out of the housing market.

The woman in this video, Sallie Frederick, talks about lack of privacy, not being able to work on her computer, which she keeps in the kitchen, because she doesn't want anyone looking over her shoulder. Her husband of 15 years lives in the guest room, and so, I'm wondering why she doesn't move her computer to her bedroom. (I asked that mine live in the finished basement. The guestroom was right next to the master bedroom. Too close for comfort.)
Celebrity divorce attorney Raoul Feder says the Fredericks made the right choice. "As far as the house is concerned, it is very sticky. People have to decide how much they hate each other, because if they can still live with each other and the house or the apartment is big enough, they ought to stay together and wait for a rising market.

Add divorce to the list of casualties of the recession. The American Academy of Matrimonal Lawyers says 37 percent of attorneys polled reported fewer divorces in a bad economy. [Reporter] ... (partial transcipt)
Frederick and her husband (he did not want to be on camera) have stopped paying separate attorneys and started using a mediator to keep their divorce costs down. That's smart if they still trust each other enough to believe one will not try to shaft the other financially.

I wanted to use a mediator, but then learned the hard way that my ex would run over me in court.

The video report also indicates some people are choosing not to divorce at all in these hard economic times or it's cheaper to keep her/him.

What this story makes you consider is if people can get along well enough and live in the same house or choose to postpone divorce for the sake of money, what went wrong in the marriage that they feel they must divorce at all? Is it about loss of passion? Passion is fleeting, something you have to work at once the first six months of infatuation chemicals wear off.

There have been contradictory stories, however. It's been said also that divorces rise during recession and economic troubles.

Related:
In UK, couples turn to counseling to avoid costs of divorce.

1 comment:

msladydeborah said...

I read an article about this trend recently. It would never have worked for me and my ex. I physically forced him out of our home and took it over. A move I would not recommend for the faint of heart. It was difficult for awhile. But it also made me get busy and upgrade myself personally.

I don't understand why Sallie doesn't move her computer. It would just make it easier on her.

Actually moving out would be easier. But these are rough times and money is tight. It just seems that the emotional strain would be too intense for my taste.