It is not unusual for married couples to hold off on divorce until large financial obligations are settled — until a house is sold or a child is out of college. It is also not uncommon for them to stick together during a down economy.
The 2007-09 recession may have caused couples to join forces to get through the longest recession since the Great Depression of the 1930's, according to Brad Wilcox, a sociology professor and director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia. Birmingham divorces often involve financial strain. But, as the national trend suggests, a severe recession may have delayed many Alabama divorces. Experts believe that trend has started to reverse itself as the economic recovery gains momentum.
A Birmingham divorce lawyer should be consulted at the earliest stages of a contemplated divorce. Our office represents clients across Alabama, including Montgomery, Huntsville, Fairhope and Fort Payne. We understand that separation and divorce is often an emotional and uncertain time. Financially, it is a precarious time. Those who fail to properly protect themselves during a divorce may never regain the same standard of living they enjoyed as a couple. Consequently, rushing through a divorce or going along to get along (and get out) is typically not the best course of action.
"There's a sort of pent-up demand for divorce after people get through tough times," said Wilcox. "We saw that in what happened after the Great Depression, when the Depression lifted and divorce increased toward the end of the 1930s."
The Republic recently reported a scenario that is all too common in such cases. A wife had taken many steps to save the marriage — and it came the point where a pending divorce was no secret. Leading up to the decision were many poor financial choices made by her husband. He chose to secretly dip into their home equity to buy some apartment units during the real-estate boom, for example. The notices piled up, as loans were not paid, and the couple's finances crumbled. They had chosen to file for bankruptcy. Once that problem was settled, she took on her next obstacle — divorce. It is expected to be finalized this spring.
"I think a lot of people who are in troubled marriages have been waiting until the dust settled from the financial crisis," said Dennis Nolte a financial planner from Winter Park, Fla. "When people start feeling a little more comfortable about the economy, that is when they decide whether now is the time to move toward divorce."
Accordingly, it is not your spouse you should first inform about your intentions — it's your divorce lawyer. It can be much easier to gather financial documents and take other steps to protect yourself before your plans to divorce your spouse are out in the open.
If you are currently going through a divorce or thinking about filing for a divorce in Alabama, contact Birmingham Divorce Attorney Steve D. Eversole at 1-866-831-5292 fora confidential consultation to discuss your rights.