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Financial settlement of divorce – Impact of credit crunch

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The credit crunch is affecting the complexity and length of time it takes to conclude the financial settlement of divorce.

In my experience, there are an increasing number of cases that cannot be finalised because the major asset within the marriage (the parties’ home) cannot be sold.
It may be that settlement has been achieved several months previously, either by agreement or court order, but that order cannot be implemented and clients are unable to move forward.

The plummet in share prices and business valuations has also had a significant impact on the conduct of financial proceedings as valuations of those assets need to be revisited.

As a consequence, there is a significant increase in couples having to continue to live under the same roof for longer which has inevitably led to domestic arguments and significant strain within the family unit.

With there being no sign of the economic situation improving in the foreseeable future, I believe divorce proceedings may need to be handled with more co-operation and compromise to minimise hostilities during what are undoubtedly difficult times. Alternatives to Court proceedings, such as mediation, should be carefully considered.

Any comments from those who are experiencing these difficulties would be welcome.


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