Monday, March 16, 2009

Divorce Across The Border, or Madness Across The Water

As the world economy (or the world's economies) slumps*, different aspects of law come into sharp focus, while others, momentarily, lose relevance making them worthy of attention. I'm now far more interested than I've been in a couple of decades, in the possible remedies my clients' refinance mortgage-holders may have when the mortgage doesn't get paid**. The formulas by which the parties get to divide up the appreciation on a parcel of real estate, on the other hand, seem at least for the moment like debating the number of angels who can dance on the head of a pin.

As money and employment shift around, so do the people holding them; again, where people have gone, from economic necessity, is affecting whose law governs what happens when someone feels the marriage is over and files something. At all levels, from the user of "free-divorce-advice-on-the-internet" , to the "multinational couple," I'm answering more "I'm here, she's there; can I file here, and what happens if she files first, there?" questions than I've seen in a long time.

These are thorny questions at best, and often the best answer is no more than "It depends, and my best educated guess is..."

* "dives"? "tanks"? "enters a flaming death-spiral"?
because only one party's living in, and paying for, the house where "wedded bliss used to dwell".

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