The Effect of the Recession on a Florida Divorce

There are many factors which affect a Florida divorce: the length of the marriage, the number of children, the amount of the assets and liabilities, the income of the parties and many more. Since the country's economy has been in an economic recession, we now need to add that factor to the list.

In recent months, our Tampa divorce law office has experienced an increase in delinquent child support, domestic violence, but a decrease in the number of filed divorces. It reminds us of stories that we heard about the Great Depression. Back then, it was said that people delayed divorcing until the economy turned around so that they could better afford the cost of filing fees, divorce lawyers and expert witnesses. The quirkiest story I heard was of a couple that shared the same bed but hung a shower curtain down the middle of the bed. They wanted to remain physically separate while they waited for the economy to change so that they could afford a divorce.

The most common of the changes is that of the increase in child support delinquencies and modifications of child support orders. Unemployment is now at the highest in most of our lifetimes. Many people paying child support have lost their jobs. This results in one of two things: reduced child support payments or no child support payments at all. The best way to handle this situation is immediately to seek a change in the child support order to reduce the amount of the monthly child support payments. Since the courts generally don't modify child support back earlier than you ask for it, it is very important to file a pleading with the court asking for the change as soon as the circumstances call for it.

The worst thing to do is just to stop paying your child support obligation. Judges don't like it when you ignore their orders. They can punish you in your wallet or by jail time. The worst recent story involved a man who was so stressed by his mounting child support delinquency and his ex wife's attempts to collect the money that he murdered her, drove to the peak of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay, lit her body on fire in the trunk of his car and dove to his death. Thankfully, most problems of this nature are handled before the emotions reach that level.

If there is a delinquency in support payments, contact an expert Tampa divorce lawyer immediately to discuss the most effect and least costly methods of solving the problem.