Is there ever a profit motive for getting a divorce?

Profit motive for divorce? Hey, maybe. I mean, divorce can very very expensive. I was just reading an April, 2009 report in the New York Daily News by Joe Martinez called New York Divorce Laws Cost Us $100,000.  In it, high powered New York divorce attorneys had a stand off over “grounds.” As I have said, in New York one must prove grounds for divorce in order to get a divorce. If you can’t prove it, you stay married.

In the report, it was clear that the grounds trial (or threat of one) was really a smart way for the wife to negotiate a better settlement, aka, get more money from her husband. So in his case, I am sure he wouldn’t say there is a “profit motive” for divorce.  I don’t think that the monied spouse ever thinks there is a “profit motive” for getting divorced. I mean, look. In this economy? Rich guys may move for the divorce now rather than wait a couple of years from now. That is because their networth has taken such a hit that what they will have to pay out to the dependent spouse will be significantly abridged. But is that a profit motive? Or is that really financial planning/expense-reduction analysis/mitigating damages? I just don’t know if I would say they have a “profit motive” in this scenario. There is no profit. There is really stemming the losses, stopping the bleeding before it starts. Although….another way to see it is that the affluent spouse predicts an financial rally in the short run and so, rather than wait till things are more “profitable” he or she moves for the divorce now so that the pay out to the less affluent spouse is “less.” That might be a profit motive?

For the non-monied spouse, the motive is a bit different. As I mentioned, one can always use the threat of trial to negotiate a better settlement. That is a profit motive right there.  

There is a simple calculus for assessing whether there is a good “profit motive” for moving for the divorce now versus another time. And that is, what do you know for sure? Is your husband about a year away from financial apocalypse? Not six months but one year? If so, there may be a profit motive for you to move now versus waiting. Maybe he works on Wall Street and you are prognosticating a second recession in late 2010? Then this in between time might be the smartest time to move, cause if you don’t you are going to have to plan on sticking around for another five years or so….

Profit motive…. In the context of a divorce, it’s all about timing.

What about if your your spouse really wants the divorce really badly to move on with someone else and you are the defendant? There might be a profit motive in dragging things out–especially if your attorney’s fees are being paid by your spouse.

Or you maybe in a less affluent situation and you think that because of the current recession, you and your spouse may be facing a bankruptcy–whether a 13 or 11 (due to a small business you own together?) Then you may want to move at least 7 months before the bankruptcy hits if a “profit motive” is on your mind so that the amount of your assets that is included in the bankruptcy estate is significantly less than if you waited till the bankruptcy actually hit. But timing is important. Any conveyance within 6 months prior to the bankruptcy may have to be forfeited. So factor that into your decision. 

And this may all seem calculated. Maybe it is. But your reality is your reality and sometimes, you just have to save your own butt and worry about the rest later. That’s the kind of reality that faces the globe right now. Worry about yourself.  Protectionism? Maybe. Selfishness? Sure. Self preservation? Absolutely….

Another profit motive scenario? A prenup that has a duration feature, kind of like the one Tom Cruise had with Nicole. After 10 years she was to get significantly more if they divorced, so, realizing they weren’t really “happy” he moved for the divorce just shy of the ten year mark. Calculated? Maybe. Profit motive? You bet. It’s called minimizing one’s losses and I don’t see what is so wrong with that–if the marriage has irretrievably broken down, anyway.

I am sure there are many other scenarios where, absolutely, yes, there is a “profit motive” for getting a divorce. What do you think?

Oh, and don’t forget the profit motive for the attorneys. http://www.divorcesaloon.com/is-your-divorce-attorney-cut-throat-enough

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