Let's assume this is good news. The divorce rate appears to be coming down. Either people are more committed to these unions or have succumbed to lifetimes of misery. But the common belief -- that "50% of all marriages end in divorce" -- doesn't enjoy statistical support. Six percent of people who divorce get back together, so that's something, too.
Not that marriage or divorce is a disease (despite how it might feel to some), it is tracked by the Centers for Disease Control, which says your profession is a primary factor in the equation. It causes stress, takes you away from home, and is reflected in your bank account. According to Monster.com, the rate is higher among people working in fading industries, like certain machine operators. Despite frequent coverage of Hollywood breakups, they don't mention entertainers, other than dancers and choreographers, who don't fare well in marriage. Lawyers, in general, do not have a particularly high divorce rate.
Complex, high-asset divorces involve people who share significant wealth and/or real estate, own lucrative businesses, or make a lot of money, like big-time litigators. In ranking the top 25 professions, from the lowest to highest divorce rates, the legal industry comes in at number 10 with a 35% divorce rate. Intuition tells us there are likely different rates for different practice types, but we could not find relevant surveys . But you don't need stats to imagine what it's like when one lawyer divorces another. (Note: Attorneys do, however, suffer very high rates of alcoholism and depression, and the ABA offers a directory of resources.)
For insights into high-asset divorces, listen to my interview with Robert D. Boyd and Kimberli C. Withrow of Boyd Collar Nolen Tuggle & Roddenbery.
Bob Boyd is a widely recognized leader in the practice of high-net-worth divorce litigation and contested custody cases. He is a former prosecutor and a U.S. Army Ranger and Paratrooper. Education: J.D., West Virginia University (Editor-in-Chief, West Virginia Law Review); B.A., United States Military Academy at West Point.
Kimberli Withrow has 16 years’ experience representing clients in family law matters. She has served as trial counsel and hearings involving divorce, child custody, and child support matters. Education: J.D., Emory University School of Law; B.A., Duke University.
This podcast is the audio companion to the Journal on Emerging Issues in Litigation. The Journal is a collaborative project between HB Litigation Conferences and the Fastcase legal research family, which includes Full Court Press, Law Street Media, and Docket Alarm. The podcast itself is a joint effort between HB and our friends at Law Street Media. If you have comments or wish to participate in one our projects please drop me a note at Editor@LitigationConferences.com.
Litigation Enthusiast and
Host of the Emerging Litigation Podcast
P.S. I don't know why, but at some point I believe I mentioned chihuahua's as a form of currency, and then something about Bezos. I'm sure it made sense at the time. It's more likely, however, that it didn't.