Divorce Timing

On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Divorce on Thursday, July 10, 2014.

Timing is everything they say. The right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing. If so, is there a right time to divorce? The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch seems to think so.

Right thing to do at the wrong time.

Say you’re hedge-fund billionaire Dave Tepper, and just separated from your wife after 28 years. Your net worth is about $10 Billion. Timing is definitely a factor in your decision to divorce.

If the Tepper divorce goes ahead today, it would very likely be less expensive if it happened before the 2009 financial crisis. A lot of stock traders were panicking in 2009. But Tepper bought shares of troubled banks and took in nearly $4 billion for himself.

Divorce timing isn’t limited to stock market booms and busts either. Consider whether you would want to divorce if you know your company was about to go public. What if your spouse was about to receive a huge bonus, or a big inheritance? If any of those apply to you, waiting may be the right move at the right time, or the right move at the wrong time, or, well you get the point.

I wrote an article about dividing property in divorce when the value of the home is underwater – where the mortgage is worth more than the property. This may be the time to put off the divorce decision.

As the Wall Street Journal reports:

During the housing market meltdown, there were often no liquid assets to distribute. The share of underwater mortgages fell to below 20% in the first quarter of 2014 for the first time in four years and it’s expected to fall to 17.2% by the end of this year, according to real-estate website Zillow. That gradual rise in house prices will help unhappy couples to live happily ever after financially.

There are also practical and emotional issues to consider. Do you want to get divorced a week before your daughter’s wedding, or your son’s bar mitzvah or an in-law’s funeral? How about when your kids are taking their SATs, EOCs, or FCATs?

Having a plan is meaningless. Planning is everything. (Dwight D. Eisenhower said that) If so, once you’ve decided to divorce, carefully planning comes into play.

The Market Watch article is available here.