Divorce in Tough Economic Times?
This is a question that many unhappy couples are struggling with all over this country in our new and uncertain economy. There is no answer that fits every situation. Certainly there are those who are so miserable in their relationship and find it so intolerable that the last thing on their mind is timing.
There are people who do have the opportunity to plan ahead and to calculate when they should separate so that they will receive the best financial advantage. The decision which is right for you depends on your own situation and what you seek in the divorce process.
Issues of child and spousal support are tied directly to income. However there are different considerations for each type of support. Child support should not be an issue because it is reviewed and adjusted every year with income fluctuation. Spousal support on the other hand is usually a figure that is fixed at the time the agreement is reached or court judgement is issued and is directly income based. It has a lot to do with both parties income at the time. So if you seek spousal support and your spouse has lost his or her job or had a large salary reduction because of the economy, that is definitely an issue.
Equalization of net family property is the biggest consideration. The valuation of what you own for the purposes of dividing things up is based on what they are worth on the date of separation. If the value of investments, real estate and personal property has dropped significantly then you may want to hang on until there is an economic recovery.
For years I have heard people hesitate about separating because they are nervous about money, the ability to carry on financially on their own, and because they think the timing may not be right for a variety of reasons, no matter what the state of the economy. My best advice to you is to consult a lawyer, get some counselling and take the road that they and you decide is best.