America's gloomy economic prospects aren't all bad. Apparently, the financial meltdown is bringing quarreling couples together. Nowadays, it is too expensive to separate. In general the housing market is having a pretty severe impact on people going through divorce because many of them are upside down in the mortgages, says Wayzata divorce mediator, Kent Peterson.
When you are supporting two households debt increases and couples "want to get out from under that debt," he says. "They want a positive cash flow again and the house is becoming a problem because it's unlikely to be sold anytime soon."
Recently Peterson represented a young Minneapolis couple moving towards divorce until they realized how expensive it would be to live apart.
"The couple took a look at their overall financial situation and how divorce would change it and decided that the price of divorce at this time wasn't worth ending their marriage," he says. "They planned to tough it out and see if they can't wait for the clouds to clear a little bit."
But, don't get all hopeless romantic on us yet. The "cloud clearing" isn't a love parade rekindled. It's the market swinging upwards.
"I don't see the finances moving people back together," Peterson says. "In my work as a mediator it just becomes a very difficult thing that has been thrown into the middle of what should be a relatively smooth transition to ending their marriage.
"Divorce is a difficult decision to make, and these couples have already decided to end their marriage. Now they are in limbo. They'll probably just wait this out and then separate."