Feb 6, 2012

Divorcing in a Volatile Economic Market

In uncertain times, dividing the matrimonial pie is more than slicing equal pieces.

For couples contemplating a divorce, the volatility in the financial and real estate markets has created an impediment that has left many questioning how they will achieve future financial security while attempting to establish two households.  A common goal may be to split assets equitably, not necessarily  50/50, but all assets are not created equal, and establishing fair market value can be challenging at best.

In these uncertain times, we are focusing on two key messages with our clients.  Number one, make sound financial, not emotional decisions.  And number two, work to create mutual benefit.  This is important at all times, but especially in unpredictable ones like we’re experiencing today.

As you navigate the financial aspect of the divorce process, you should:

Develop a realistic budget.

Recognize the financial reality of establishing and maintaining two separate households by developing a realistic budget during and after the divorce.

Thoroughly review your assets and establish fair market value.

Calculating the fair value of your assets can be challenging.  It’s important to consider both the cost and value of assets such as real estate, investments, personal property and a business.

Strive for diversification in division of assets.

The new normal in dividing assets is to understand the risk factors associated with all classes and diversify.  Just as with investing, you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket.

Be civil.

Recognizing the real financial hardships of divorce can be challenging, but it’s important to divide your assets constructively without causing resentment.  The decisions are difficult to make, but with the guidance of a good family law attorney you can reach an agreement that is mutually beneficial to both partners.

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