In what is a novel twist for divorce property settlements, more and more individuals going through a divorce are seeking ways to structure the divorce property agreement so that they DON’T end up with the home.

In a divorce, the home is usually the biggest asset assignment to be determined by the divorce property agreement. However, the downturn in the economy along with the wholesale collapse of housing prices has resulted in diminishing equity in homes all across the nation.

Petition for divorce.

It used to be that when a couple divorced, there was a significant amount of equity remaining in the home. And in setting up the divorce property agreement, there was often a battle to determine who would end up keeping the home, along with the resulting equity value, to help them start anew in their single life.

But, today, the person who the divorce property settlements determine ends up with the home, will most likely end up with a pile of debt to their name as well. And, far from giving them a new lease on life, it will likely drag them down for many years until they can manage to pay off enough of the debt to sell it.

As a result, in some parts of the country, the divorce rate is going down. Not because the couple has had a change of heart and doesn’t want to divorce. But, because the house is so heavily mortgaged, they simply can’t afford to divorce until home prices return to where they can sell it and not take a loss. In a way, their divorce has become a prisoner of their mortgage debt.

Attorney Gary Nickelson, President of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers,  “Everybody wants the asset that’s worth something. Nobody wants the asset that’s not worth anything or has debt attached to it.

So, how do you find a decent divorce lawyer?

Finding the right lawyer can prove difficult for many, but that, we believe, is the below quote is the key to finding one that works for you.  Don’t settle! In the words of  Roland Barbosa, “Visit with several lawyers before you decide on whose hands to place your future and that of your family. Hire an attorney who will listen to you, understand your legal issues, and have the experience to handle your legal matter. Do not hire a Dallas divorce attorney who won’t sit down with you until you have paid them hundreds of dollars up front“.   The point is that you don’t want to just go with anyone, but you want to hire the best lawyer for the job, and it’s wise to take the time to do interviews and sift out the bad from the good.