Too Broke to Break Up

From the outside, we hide what emotional toll the economy is taking. But behind closed doors, bad economic times are creeping into many marriages.

“Well I think there’s a lot of things involved when you go through a divorce, “ said Alejandro Guzman, “Finance usually always multiplies it.”

Guzman is going through a divorce after 29 years of marriage. His painting business is way down much like the value of his home and investments. A once-stable family life is feeling the economic pinch.

“I think it had a lot to do with it because the stress of managing a family and a business and just everything that evolves around it is just hard, it’s very hard,” he said.

Hard economic times are driving more people into the office of divorce attorney Dean Schreyer.

Even though more clients are coming in, divorce isn’t always easy to achieve.

“All the assets are gone, the houses are upside down, there’s really no pot of money to move on,” said Schreyer.

With no money, some couples are postponing divorce. “We’ll stay together, we’ll be civil and we’ll revisit this at a better time,” said Schreyer.

“You don’t know where it’s going to end up, where the cards are going to fall and how they’re going to fall,” said Guzman. “You don’t know. You’re walking into the void.”

Some families are bypassing attorneys and turning to mediators to negotiate a divorce. Working it out with a trained mediator can be much cheaper but it's not for everyone.

Mediation is just as legal but it takes two sides that can talk and work things out. It saves money when you do the work.

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