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Amicable Divorce? Not in This Market

The Wall Street Journal

Few life events are more emotionally and financially taxing than divorce. Inflation is making it even worse.

Increases in alimony and child-support payments tend to be tied to the consumer-price index, a measure of what consumers pay for goods and services that has grown at the fastest rate in four decades. Disputes over who gets to keep the house became more contentious when mortgage rates doubled this year as a result of the Federal Reserve’s efforts to stamp out inflation, divorce lawyers said. And the market downturn, which followed the Fed’s rate increases, left already stressed couples fighting over shrinking 401(k)s and other investments. 

“People are angry at the economy and angry at their spouses, and they’re acting out,” said Stacy Phillips, a divorce lawyer in Los Angeles

Divorces that previously would settle after one or two mediation sessions now often require six sessions to resolve, said Ms. Phillips, who has more than 37 years of experience practicing family law. 

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"Amicable Divorce? Not in This Market," by Veronica Dagher was published in The Wall Street Journal on November 9, 2022.