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What's the connection between foreclosure rates and the rate of divorce in Southern California?

While divorce rates in the United States as a whole have declined and are at a 40-year low, the figures vary regionally -- and couples in the lower part of California aren't seeing the same trend. In fact, less than half of all marriages in that area will survive to their 10th anniversary, and more than 70 percent will eventually fail.

Another thing in lower California that's well above natural average is the rate of foreclosures and defaults on home loans.

However, the connection between the two issues may be more complicated than most people realize -- because there are two different things that experts see happening:

1. Couples get in over their heads financially with the purchase of a home that's outside their price range, their credit card debt, or due to unforeseen changes in their finances due to job losses or medical issues.

The constant stress of their money troubles -- as well as the social pressure couples may feel to keep up the appearance that everything is okay in their lives -- can end up fracturing their marriages. A fracture may happen even faster if one member of the couple feels like the other is primarily responsible for the overload of debt. Either way, a divorce often follows.

2. The relationship between a couple begins to fracture for other reasons and one or both people begin to see their house -- which is usually the biggest financial tie between them and the symbol of their lives together -- as both a burden and a symbol of their failed relationship.

Experts say that they've seen spouses essentially turn on each other and abandon the mortgage out of either contempt or revenge -- even though they're damaging their own credit in the process.

That second possibility, in particular, makes it very important to understand the consequences of any property division agreement when it comes to jointly-held debts, like a mortgage. Make certain that you have experienced legal assistance so that you get sound advice regarding the financial ramifications of your divorce.

Source: benzinga.com, "Closer Look at the Correlation of Southern California Divorce and Foreclosure," Sep. 03, 2017

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