When billionaire wunderkind Mark Zuckerberg recently changed his Facebook status from single to married, divorce attorneys across the country speculated on whether a wave of couples may head in the opposite direction now that the company has launched its mammoth (and currently, controversial) IPO.
“When Google went public, there was a wave of divorces,” commented California divorce attorney Steve Cone in an interview with the Financial Times. “When Cisco went public there was a wave of divorces. I expect a similar wave shortly after Facebook goes public.”
So what’s the connection between IPOs and divorce? Some commentators think that, flush with cash – and for some, the wads are well beyond the 6 and even 7-figure mark – unhappy couples who may have been avoiding divorce for a while suddenly find themselves with the financial security to untie the knot.
And of course, some folks don’t handle newfound wealth very well, and can start expressing behaviors – arrogance, entitlement, and so on — that their spouse finds difficult to bear.
And then there are those who think that it’s time to upgrade everything in their life – including their significant other.
“There’s this feeling that they can have it all,” commented Nicole Baras Feuer, co-director of the New York-based Start Over Smart divorce expo. “They can trade in a spouse and have something better.”
But it’s not just divorce attorneys who are gearing up for a spike in business. The marriage industry is also poised for some Facebook-related growth.
“A windfall can make couples feel ready to tie the knot,” commented Jean Marks, a wedding planner in Palo Alto, who also anticipates an increase in extravagant weddings now that couples have the financial freedom to party like a Kardashian.
Ultimately, when the dust clears, whether Facebook’s IPO triggers more divorces than marriages or the opposite, this much is certain: it’ll have obliged a shocking number of people to change their Facebook marital status, one way or the other.
With files from The Globe and Mail.