search  current discussion  categories  business - misc 

studios,career , divorce

updated mon 9 dec 02


Stephani Stephenson on sun 8 dec 02

these are very general observations from watching friends' experience,
so it may apply , it may not apply ,to any given situation.

I agree with a previous post which emphasized it is what happens AFTER
a divorce that counts.
Ruefully, but realistically, It is not always in one's best interest to
show value in one's studio or profession during a divorce.
It may mean you just have to pay more to buy back your 'half' of it,
even if it is all 'yours' to begin with!
i.e. you may find yourself paying your soon to be 'ex' half the value
or some portion of its value, just to be able to keep it...
So is it better if that value is high or low? It depends on the overall
situation and the terms and of course the laws in your state.
Sometimes an independent business appraiser is brought in, (for a couple
of grand.) Ultimately your business records and assessing 'fair market
value' of your studio equipment are key in determining the value and
income producing capacity of your business.
Sometimes one provides profiles of other such 'business' in one's
locale. pottery is such an odd duck, it is hard to draw local
comparisons., but it can be done. However it is you , and your attorney
or counsel, who can make decisions on how to 'position' yourself with
regard to your business and decise how it figures into the financial
terms of the divorce.

Though divorce is a time when one most certainly finds themself needing
to scream, inside and out , that they are a person of merit and
value, the divorce may or may NOT the best arena to extend that need
by proving financial value of the so called 'hobby, part -time or
full -time business'.
Your guts want you to not only survive the battle with the ex but
emerge victorious, but in general if you can try to quit proving
anything TO THE EX, you win a valuable battle. How the ex judge's your
worth, personal or financial, is no longer part of how you value it,(
though this is easier said than done, don't we know!) Trying to prove it
, as part of the ego battle with the ex , is a lost cause, so make
sure your strategy benefits YOUR position( and first and foremost,
your children's, when applicable ) AFTER the dust settles.
Psychologically, i have seen friends take a 'this is my last stand'
approach, especially when the marriage has been of long duration. Of
course the feelings of embattlement are natural, fierce and deep.There
is no doubt it takes a toll, but if one can see that this is more like
an 'eye of the needle' through which one must pass, rather than the
'last stand'.. one may land on their feet in better shape,( to mix a
bunch of metaphors..). What I would say to someone is , know that there
WILL be disruption and losses: Prioritize, calculate and try to choose
where you ultimately will 'give' as well as where you will prevail.
.Consider whether claims of a full time pottery business can help you or
hurt you, Strategize for favorable settlement , in terms of costs and
duration, , be strong and smart, so that you are able to continue your
work and a livelihood after you are through it. .

Stephani Stephenson