As Covid-19 Tanks The Stock Market, How Is Your Divorce?

Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi A Professional Law Corporation Divorce

There is no denying that money is often at the center of many divorce cases. Money issues could have been the reason for the divorce, or division of money could be at the center of a contested divorce. Right now, the stock market is erratic because of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. At the Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi, we want to discuss how this market fluctuation could affect an ongoing divorce. Our Westlake Village divorce attorneys are here to help you get through this.

The stock market is erratic

You have most certainly kept track of the news over the last month or so. While the majority of the stories have centered around the spread of Covid-19, you have likely seen that the global financial markets have plummeted. As of this writing, all major US indices are down more than 10% from their all-time lows, and they are projected to sink lower. While the stock market may not be the main concern for those worried about their health, this is certainly a big deal for those going through a divorce.

How are the assets affected?

California is a “community property” state when it comes to asset division during a divorce. This means that all property acquired during the course of the marriage is considered “joint property” and must be divided equitably. While “equitable” distribution does not necessarily mean a 50-50 split, the courts will try to make sure that the asset division is as fair as possible to both parties.

How does this relate to the stock market?

In many cases, much of a couple’s assets are tied up in the market. Some examples include:

  • Investment portfolios (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, REITs, etc.)
  • Retirement accounts (401ks, IRAs, pensions, etc.)

The value of these accounts is going to be largely dependent on the value of the stock market. When the markets lose 10% or more of their value, a couple’s overall net worth will also go down. In most cases, we are told to not worry about stock market ups and downs. Financial advisors will just say “ride it out” and wait for the market to recover.

However, if you are in the middle of a divorce and trying to assess the value of your part of the underlying assets, this market dip can seriously hurt. As the markets sink due to coronavirus fears, is it fair that one spouse ends up with much less in a divorce than they would have had just a month ago?

We are ready to help

If you are considering going through a divorce, or already in an ongoing separation, Covid-19 may be altering your plans. At the Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi, we are dedicated to helping people get through their divorce in the best way possible for their situation. We understand this is a confusing time for everybody. Our Westlake Village divorce attorneys will sit down with you and formulate a divorce strategy that works for you. We will remain flexible, and we understand that what works this week may not be the best plan next week or next month. Covid-19 is altering our lives for the moment, but we will get through this together. You can contact us for a consultation by clicking here or calling 805-379-4550.

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