COVID-19, The Financial Markets, Black Swan and Divorce

What is a “Black Swan” event and why do financial and news outlets from Forbes to Yahoo and CNN to the Wall Street Journal keep using this mystifying term? Black swan events generally are unpredictable events far beyond what is typically expected and have potentially severe and catastrophic consequences. While some leading epidemiologists and public health experts anticipated the possibility of a global pandemic, no one truly expected society and the world’s markets and economy to completed stall because of a virus. Many predict a correlation between a black swan event and divorce.


The black swan event and divorce

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has led to record unemployment, tumbling financial markets and the likely dampening of real estate markets. If you are currently in the process of getting a divorce or considering initiating a divorce, these financial realities are important to recognize and consider.

For most people, the nauseating on paper losses they see in equities and their retirement accounts do not matter all that much in reality since they are not looking to liquidate or use those funds right now. That said, if you are current involved in a divorce or contemplating one, these losses and depreciation are significant and potentially valuable.

Obviously, there are a host of factors in a divorce with respect to dividing assets and property. That being said, depending what side of the division and/or ownership you are on can be crucial. For instance, if you and your spouse own a home and the value of that home has decreased, then the equity amount and buy-out cost will, of course, be lower. This, depending on your objective, could be exciting or disappointing. At the same time, if you or your spouse has a retirement account or equity portfolio that is being divided up right now (or in the near term), those values are going to be significantly less than they were in January 2020 (mere months ago).

Money and finances should never be the sole reason or motivator for or against a divorce. Dissolving a marriage is a decision that involves great introspection as well as substantial upheaval and should not be taken lightly. Nevertheless, given the unforeseen damage done to national and global finance and real estate markets, it is important to look at your finances carefully, take this into consideration and discuss with your attorney as you proceed with a divorce in 2020.

Everyone has a right to be happy, even in uncertain times.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your financial picture relating to divorce, the lawyers at Findling Law are ready and able to assist you during this uncertain time.

About Findling Law

I have been exclusively practicing divorce and family law in Michigan for over two decades.  The attorneys at Findling Law all share the core value of practicing law to help people navigate change in their lives, without compromising principles.  We specialize in high socio-economic, high-profile and high-conflict cases, while also working with clients of all backgrounds. We recognize that the most important aspect of the practice of law is the application of the law to your specific circumstances.

That is why we provide more free information on divorce and family law than any other Michigan law firm. We want to help you manage your situation. Allow our exceptional legal team to help you navigate the change in your life, without compromising principles.

We want to help you manage your situation. Let our exceptional legal team help you manage your situation.


Local: +1 (248) 399-3300 – toll free:   (877-YOUR FIRM)

After hours emergency?:  +1 (707) 968-7347

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Contributed by Max Emmer

By:  Daniel Findling

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