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Affordable housing can be a serious problem for divorced moms

For most people, divorce means a downsizing in housing and overall standard of living. Divorce still tends to hit women harder than men, in part because they're the ones more likely to keep the children. One divorce financial planner says that about 90 percent of his clients are women who "often can't rent or buy until they get a court document granting child and spousal income."

While both spouses generally move into smaller homes after divorce, according to U.S. Census data, approximately 40 percent of families who are headed by a female live in multi-unit structures or mobile homes.

Of course, here in New York City, we all know that the cost of even a small apartment can be well out of reach of many people's budgets, let alone one large enough to accommodate a child or two. One realtor in Southern California, another high-priced real estate market, says, "Some expensive cities have no affordable apartments for kids."

According to RealtyTrac, people in New York City spend about 60 percent of their income on rent, and that percentage is only getting larger. The California realtor says that in some cities, the price of housing has "tripled or quadrupled in the last three to five years."

For women who have gotten out of the job market to raise kids because their husbands had a high enough income to support the family, divorce can hit them hard financially. They often have primary custody of the children and therefore aren't able to work full time, even if they have highly-marketable skills.

That's why it's essential that you and your New York family law attorney work to seek a fair settlement, including spousal and child support so that you and your children can live comfortably as you move forward with this new phase of your life.

Source: Washington Post, "When I got divorced, I moved from a big house to a tiny apartment," Christina Adams, Oct. 18, 2016

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