The couple sitting at my conference table seemingly wanted to pick my brain just as many other separating couples had done. However, they threw in a bit of a monkey wrench when the wife said, “We want you to help us decide if we’ll get a divorce.” At first, I wondered whether she meant could they afford to keep the house, but the husband said, “No. We’ll stay together if we can’t afford to live apart.”
I said that my calculations could only determine a home’s affordability in the context of their wallets, and that the salvation or demise of a marriage was a much larger dilemma. Before making such a decision, I recommended that they speak with both a marriage therapist and a financial pro.
They both demurred, and the husband declared again that they’d agreed to give me the power to decide whether they remained married or started divorce proceedings. With my radar crackling, I emphatically declined to make that kind of decision. As I handed them back their paperwork, I said, “There’s no charge for the consultation. Good luck!”
Visibly miffed, Mrs. Stayorgo looked at me and then at her spouse. “Let’s get out of here!” she said. “I want someone to make a decision on whether we’re splitting up by the end of this week.”