Friday, January 02, 2009

The Defense of Marriage Bankruptcy Act

Now here are some victims of the Bush Recession I can really feel for:

When Marci Needle and her husband began to contemplate divorce in June, they thought they had enough money to go their separate ways. They owned a million-dollar [sic] home near Atlanta and another in Jacksonville, Fla., as well as investment properties.

Now the market for both houses has crashed, and the couple are left arguing about whether the homes are worth what they owe on them, and whether there are any assets left to divide, Ms. Needle said.

"We're really trying very hard to be amicable, but it puts a strain on us," said Ms. Needle," the friction audible in her voice. I want him to buy me out. It's in everybody's interest to settle quickly. That would be my only income. It's been incredibly stressful."

That just tears me up. If the Needles can't make do with two "million dollar" homes and their investment properties, what hope is there for the rest of us.

(It seems to me the article should have mentioned that the Needles are real estate pros, just for context. Apparently the commercial real estate market in Jacksonville is in the crapper too, but you'd think Dave would let Marci keep her job as General Manager if he was so amicable.)

It used to be that an ailing economy was good for Big Divorce:

High-finance marriages are crumbling along with the economy, divorce lawyers say, and because of it, couples who are splitting up are paying closer attention to the timing of bonus payouts and other economic trends in the hope of achieving the best possible settlement.

"A lot of couples who have been living the good life have begun the process of re-evaluating their lives together," said Jacalyn F. Barnett, a Manhattan divorce lawyer. "In the past year, I have seen how the dramatic changes in our economy have had a dramatic effect on married people, especially those who have been used to earning high salaries, and many of those couples can no longer handle the stress."

But now people can't afford to lose the old ball-and-chain, and can't even just scram in the middle of the night and let the bank take over the maintenance. Perhaps God will send us a depression so that traditional marriage can be restored to its former glory.

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