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Improvement in economy may mean more Michigan couples are able to divorce

Now that the recession is over it seems that divorce may be an option for some couples struggling with their marriage. Many couples put divorce on hold for the last few years simply because they felt like the process was not financially feasible. For Michigan residents, divorce declined during the recession as families faced diminishing home values and investments, not to mention unemployment and lower wages.

According to the Michigan Department of Community Health, divorces dropped from 35,002 to nearly 32,000 in just the three years from 2006 to 2009. But now that home values are slowly bouncing back and retirement accounts are filling up, divorces are now more affordable.

Couples often use money from the sale of the marital home to pay for divorce or legal costs. But during the recession, this created many issues during divorces settlements due to the high rates of housing debt. As couples emerge out of this debt, divorce and settlement becomes less complicated. And home prices are certainly on the rise. In metro Detroit home prices have increased 6.2 percent since last July. In counties throughout the state home sales are also increasing.

The economic boost and return of financial stability means that divorce is an option again for many. But couples should remember that just because there is money for divorce, doesn't mean it is necessarily an easy process. Many issues accompany divorce, like child support, child custody, spousal support and division of property. An experienced attorney may be a good resource in sorting through any of the issues that arise during the legal process.

Source: Crain's Detroit Business, "Recovery reaches Splitsville," Dustin Walsh, Oct. 14, 2012

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