Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation it is best to seek the advice of an experienced legal professional.

It’s a tale told with both a positive and negative spin. Towns around the US boast of thriving housing markets. On the one hand this means the best and brightest are flocking to cities that are often hubs of knowledge and industry, such as San Francisco, Portland or Boston. But on the other hand, there are stories of unattainable housing markets, with residents priced out. In San Diego, where biotech and healthcare technology are thriving, residents experience the hike in prices that accompany the ascent of an up-and-coming US knowledge economy.

If you’re divorcing in an expensive property market you may be facing into a bleak scenario where your income is about to drop significantly or your spouse will need support that will cut into your own future income. It’s a sign of the times that many couples are choosing to stay in the same living space even after they’ve split up, or delay their divorce until they can afford to live apart. But be careful, these issues can be complicated by laws that require couples to live apart before they divorce. If the property climate in your city requires you to work together rather than go it alone, divorce mediation can make the whole process smoother.

The Issues You Face and How Mediation Can Help

Lease agreements, Subletting and Who Gets to Stay

It isn’t just property you own – in high rent cities like San Francisco and San Diego, lease agreements can be as valuable as mortgages. Perhaps you secured ideally low rent on a beautiful apartment in an area that is otherwise expensive, and maybe neither of you wants to give it up. Or maybe both of you want to get out, but your lease agreement locks you in. Can you sublet? Should you take one partner’s name off the lease? Who is liable for rent? These are issues that can lead to conflict if they’re not worked out in advance. Similarly if one or both of you are attached to the family home it can be difficult to come to an agreement. The financial is entangled with the emotional, and while you might financially be best served by selling and getting the equity while property prices are high, emotionally it can be less clear-cut. At BCS we have a high level of expertise in both psychoanalytical and financial matters and use efficient and caring tools like game theory and communication theory to help you work out what’s in your mutual interest.

Mortgage Repayments, Rent, Tax, Credit and More

How much do you support your spouse after divorce? How long do you continue to support your spouse? How do you mitigate risk to your own credit if your spouse’s finances are less stable than yours? Mediation can help you work together on a plan for the future. In an expensive city like San Diego you may need to be financially involved with your spouse some way into the future, but together you can map out what that looks like, and what obligations you have to each other, so one spouse’s security and credit isn’t affected by another spouse’s. As mediators with significant financial expertise we can also help you make the most of your tax and investment opportunities for as long as you need to work as a team.

What Can You Afford? What’s Best for your Kids?

There are many theories about what kinds of arrangement work best for kids, but the most important thing is stability, routine, and reduced conflict and cooperation between co-parents. Some parents may want to try “bird-nesting”, a solution where kids live in one third home and parents “fly into” and out of the nest to take care of kids. For others this isn’t financially viable. Even if you don’t have kids you might need to downsize or apartment-share, but you should work with your partner to make sure you do the best by your kids. If ex-spouses can work together efficiently, there is no need for one person to live in a shoe-box.

Who We Are and How We Can Help

We are caring, well-educated mediators who are skilled in applied financial mathematics, the law psychoanalysis, and game theory. We strive to efficiently comprehend your situation and its opportunities for sustainable and agreeable resolution. This may include a review of your parenting plan, spousal support calculations, community property equalization, settlement agreement, and all other aspects of your case. Any resolution you come to will be informed by a deeper analysis of the conflict that can be psychoanalytic and/or more financially-focused. Conflict analysis can result in a more optimized understanding of the net community property, which adds value to the overall estate, benefiting you both. Our specially trained divorce mediator-accountants can also help reveal and investigate the proven financial facts of a divorce to make a full financial appraisal of your divorce and to suggest creative solutions for financial planning after divorce. Our high-level divorce mediation services are tailored to the needs of people with complex lives or divorces that may be difficult or protracted. We can intervene to break litigation deadlocks when divorces are already underway. We work with individuals from several cultures and countries, and can help with national and international relocation issues associated with divorce. You can visit us at our offices in Campbell, CA, Irvine, CA and San Diego, CA. We can also be reached by Telephone, Zoom or Facetime. We are available 7 days a week and at urgent notice. Please contact us to see how we can help.

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