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Divorce Can Be Nasty And Getting Through It Can Be Gut-Wrenching

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My Father and Mother had a normal loving relationship…however, when my mom was 44 years old she faced the loss of my dad who passed away from cancer at the early age of 53, leaving her with 4 kids to raise. She was a super-mom who made sure all her children got a college degree and additional educational and professional degrees.   Most people have heard the saying—Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. When it comes to divorce, men can turn on the testosterone and be nasty. However, women don’t have a monopoly on character either, but certain scenarios reveal a uniquely male potential for nastiness.   Commonly said, 50% of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. Take, for example, a divorcee named Suzy, whose ex-husband after seven years of marriage asked for a divorce, complaining she “had gained too much weight and was no longer a trophy wife.” Or, take Jennifer, whose former husband she had thought of as her “best friend.” Yet after years building a successful business together, her “best friend” completely blind-sided her when he told her he “fell in love” with a girl he met on an online dating site. Then there are guys, like Anne’s controlling ex-husband, who insisted she look and dress a certain way, challenged her personal decisions and eventually deprived her of access to their finances … and car. How about Susan who had ovarian cancer — told her he wanted someone younger and healthier with whom he could have children.   All these women were shattered by these cruel ex-husbands, but found dignity and self-respect through a program providing women with information about the legal, emotional and financial aspects of divorce.   While men naturally divorce as much as women do, the female orientation of the program is by design. I have often found that women, when they’re in a group with men aren’t comfortable asking the questions they have. However when “women in a group of other women create a sense of community that allows them to speak freely.” This also takes into account widows whose plight is as severe as the loss of their partner. Most men control the finances and the woman often is not as involved so her lack of experience and naiveté and know how to make financial decisions can be challenging. Then one day she is hit over the head with terrible news and her world goes into a tail spin.   I will be hosting workshops for divorcees and widows which will be conducted by volunteers in three areas, addressing women’s basic legal, emotional and financial questions. CPA Ronald Blumka, Wills & Estate Attorney Barbara Clark, PhD in Counseling Psychology L. Scott Luff, Realtor, Virginia Cook Real Estate Karen Marti Hale, Family Law, Carol Wilson, Personal Banker Capitol One Katrina Leal, Credit Repair Specialist Steven Palmieri, (looking for forensic accountant to add to our list) to round out our team of professionals.   At the divorce workshops, each participant is asked to make a small donation (waived in cases of extreme need) as all funds are donated to two nonprofit organizations helping women – both seeking to empower women around money and/or family issues. The Vogel Alcove provides childcare and case management for children and their families while The Dallas Jewish Family Service offers food, resume assistance and development, employment services, and counseling. The divorce workshops are an opportunity to give back, but it’s also an opportunity as an advisor to differentiate myself from everybody else out there by giving back in a very different way.   While many of the attendees are down and out, because divorce is so pervasive in American society, the population served by wealth managers — that is, the wealthy — are usually there as well. Our goal is to provide a safe place where women can meet and get answers in a comfortable environment and not feel their questions and concerns are foolish or have no merit.   Divorce is the great equalizer and I wish to serve as an advisor to women in all degrees of issues and finances. The trauma of divorce typically leaves women in a heightened state of emotion for which my calm and rational approach is the antidote.   I’m working with a potential client right now who is so distraught that she cannot think rationally about her situation. The woman’s suspicion that her husband is hiding assets has deepened her lack of tranquility, so I am (in addition to working with the prospect’s forensic accountant) working to keep the client focused on the basics: how to maintain her standard of living over the next 30 to 35 to 40 years.   Women learn basics which can range from what is a retainer; can they divorce without a professional’s help; how do they deal with a hostile spouse; how do they help their children deal with the changes; should they keep their house; how do they deal with retirement; when they get a large sum of money how do they manage it and the list goes on.   When a person goes through a divorce, feelings of love for that spouse changes to survival. Then law is simply the way to untie the knot; what really concerns people going through divorce is the children and the money.  A divorcing spouse focused on keeping her home, for example, may not fully grasp the impact that decision would have on her prospects for eventual retirement. Our goal is to show women and help them not only understand the ‘if, what’s and about’ in what they are going through.   Our mission is to provide a safe environment for women where we can address all issues, concerns and frustrations that one may go through during the divorce process. Our group will bring our individual expertise to make a significant difference in people’s lives.   Contact us at 214-762-2327 if you are interested in signing up or know of someone who is going through or has gone through a divorce or is a widow and you feel may need this support group. Stay tuned for my next program. Date and time will be announced in a future blog…or simply call us to be included on our list.   – Mark S. Gardner (214-762-2327)

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About Mark S Gardner

Mark S Gardner,
Managing Partner,
RetireWellDallas
International Plaza III
14241 Dallas Parkway, Suite 650
Dallas, TX 75254
Main: 214 775-1760
Mobile: 214-762-2327
Fax: 469-914-6088
Email:MarkGardner@RetireWellDallas.com
Website: www.RetireWellDallas.com


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