February 4, 2009

Recessions impact Divorces

POLITICS - The number of people getting a divorce typically go down during a recession because people are more likely to be forced to stay together because of economic reasons.

A new ruling in Ontario's Court of Appeal today has also decreed that divorced people can pay less money to their ex-spouses if a recession has effected their business profits or even forced their business heavily into debt.

In a complex 3-0 ruling, the court set aside a trial judge's decision from 2007 that required businessman Harold Serra to make an "equalization payment" of $4.1 million to his ex-wife, Barbara.

Harold Serra explained that between the time the couple separated and the time their case got to trial, the value of his textile business had diminished in value due to the recession from $11.25 million to between $1.8 and $2.6 million. In other words he doesn't have the money to pay his ex-wife.

The judges reduced the equalization payment to $900,000.

The new ruling will effect a lot of families as it will make it easier for couples to get divorced and get a more equal share when the judges take into account the economic conditions.

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