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Now, Breaking Up is Easier to Do


For most, dissolving a marriage has become too expensive, and divorce rates nationwide have plummeted during the economic crisis. But for a subset of New Yorkers, particularly high-tax-bracket financial and legal types, divorce is the latest means of wealth preservation.

"For those high-wage earniers who are in a marriage that they want to end, there has never been a better time to get divorced," says John Marks, a partner with law firm Kluger Kaplan Silverman Katzen & Levine.

Since most financial executives earned less over the past year or two than at any point in a decade, filing for divorce now means a much lower income for calculating alimony. The end of cash bonuses on Wall Street is also nudging unhappy couples to divorce, and the nearly 40% drop in investment portfolios since the 2007 peak means there's less to divide.

"Unlike stocks, when it comes to divorce, you want to buy high and sell low," Mr. Marks explains. "These are the low-earning years."

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