Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Is the Economy Affecting Divorces?

One of my favorite blogs is James J. Gross's Maryland Divorce Legal Crier. James can make a point very succinctly and his posts are usually both entertaining and enlightening. His post today certainly fits that description. I have heard the question over and over about whether the economic downturn/recession/or worse has an effect on divorces. Here is his response.

“'Are divorces going down in these hard times?' The question came from a woman at one of the holiday parties upon learning I was a divorce lawyer.

"I allowed as how many couples are opting to ride out a bad marriage because they can’t sell the house, or they can’t afford the lawyer fees, or their income won’t cover two households.

"'But others,' I said, 'find that now is just the right time to get rid of an unwanted spouse.'

“'What others?' she inquired of me.

“'Why wealthy husbands, for one, with businesses, stock, options and pensions down about 50%, may find this a good time to buy out their spouse for cash at these lower prices, expecting an eventual recovery.'

“'And trophy wives, in the face of layoffs and rumors of layoffs, may decide the right time to leave is while their husbands are still employed.'

“'I never thought of that,' she nodded, and wandered off to get some more punch."

That all fits with the observation about how some people see problems and others see opportunities.

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