As 2022 comes to a close, divorcing couples are being required to make decisions in the midst of an environment marked by uncertainty and even confusion. In addition to stock market volatility, rising interest rates, and inflation, couples are also facing the lingering impact of Covid-19 complicated by respiratory illnesses, and all exacerbated by continued political angst and tension. Clearly, the solutions of yesterday will need to be reframed and redesigned to take into consideration that times have changed, at least for the here and now.
At the Centre for Mediation and Dispute Resolution, we have always encouraged a problem solving approach to making decisions and reaching settlements. We recognize that when emotions are fraught and clouded embracing rational thought and analysis may seem out of reach. However, based on decades of experience in mediating divorce settlements, we have found that the problem solving approach is not only preferable but in fact, is quite achievable.
This article is intended to call your attention to the current landscape facing divorcing couples and some of the particular issues that will best be handled with a “thinking out of the box” approach to creative problem solving. Admittedly you cannot stabilize the stock market or wish inflation away, but you can, and should, weigh the impact of all decisions on each of you—not just emotionally and personally—but also economically. Agreements based on questionable data or wishful thinking rarely produce the results you planned for.
Consider the following examples of challenges facing divorcing couples at present:
INFLATED HOUSING VALUES:
MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES:
Indeed, the above examples are only a sampling of the many questions being faced by divorcing couples as 2022 moves into 2023. These uncertain times call for a creative, thought provoking analysis of settlement issues. It is necessary to consider the implications of your decisions under a variety of different options. Most of all, we at CMDR advocate that you approach the division of assets as a problem solving endeavor. Questions need to be posed; different answers need to be weighed and evaluated. The present and future well-being of all family members is worth the effort.