My Story

Walking the Path With You

About Brenda

My Story

I came to be a financial advisor when my husband lost his job. Before this happened I was raising teenagers, volunteering, and teaching yoga… so this was my time to step up. (Yoga wasn’t going to pay the bills!) So I moved away from my yoga practice, and started my brand new financial services practice.

I’ll never forget the day, a year and a half later, when my husband (who was still unemployed), came home, and told me he wanted a divorce. It was totally unexpected for me at the time; in fact, as you can imagine, I was devastated.

So we started down the road to divorce, and I found that there weren’t any directions. (Not even bad ones.) I struggled to find resources that fit the way I wanted to move forward in my life and with my family post divorce. I kept telling myself, “Just get through this with grace.” But the process won over my intent for grace, and we had a horrible, expensive, family-destroying experience.

The divorce became all about money and winning. (Which wasn’t what I wanted at all.)

Although I lived in a state with child support and maintenance guidelines, I agreed to significantly below our state’s support policies just to get through the process and move on. I had figured out that as long as I could get my kids into college, I would make my own way after that. So instead of 26 years of spousal support, I agreed to less than five – which was just long enough for my youngest child to graduate high school.

Why? A few reasons:

To get closure on my marriage…

Pride…

And because I knew that as long as I could support myself for the 10 to 15 years between spousal support ending and my potential retirement, I would be OK!

I found divorce perplexing, confusing, illogical, and supremely expensive, and seeing our divorce careen out of control in cost and animosity, I knew there had to be another way. A different way. A better way. 

When you think about it, although divorce is a legal process, the decisions made are primarily in regard to finances and family.

When these decisions are being guided by attorneys, they sometimes make serious financial errors – like what happened in my divorce – or allow professional fees to get out of control well beyond what’s needed, or that can be afforded at the time.

I would have never imagined my marriage would have come down to lawyers encouraging behavior such as arguments over a ten-year-old sofa or who is going to pay for acne medication. The professional fees supporting these arguments cost way more than the item itself ever would. I discovered that this can be the reality of divorce.

And it doesn’t just end with the settlement or when the divorce is “final”.

I experience this too, myself. Because my settlement wasn’t done correctly, I ended up back in court years later… with a $37,000 bill to foot. (And lots more headaches and heartache.)

  • IF we had been coached from the beginning to make sound financial decisions for both of us,
  • IF we had been informed about what the state guidelines said and meant, and not what we could “get away with”,
  • IF our professionals had been upfront and straightforward about the policies,
  • IF the process had stayed goal-oriented instead of victory and money-focused, and
  • IF we had set a budget and both parties respected it…

Our lives, and more importantly, our children’s lives, would be much different today.

That is the sum total of why I do what I do.

I’m passionate about doing anything I can to help other families going through divorce have a better process. Divorce isn’t a party no matter how you look at it, but it doesn’t have to be as damaging and expensive as we’ve come to expect and accept.

I don’t subscribe to the belief women don’t understand finance. We’ve just been too busy taking care of everything else to tackle it.

When it’s thrust upon women going through a divorce, they need extra support to quickly get up to speed on the family finances so they can make sound decisions, and not make mistakes that jeopardize their financial future.

I’m dedicated to helping women divorce differently.

I’m committed to supporting the “non-CFO” of the family, even if they are equal or primary breadwinners, understand what they are agreeing to in their divorce, and how it will impact them and their family five, ten, twenty years down the line.

If you are a woman who has found herself facing divorce, and know you need guidance to avoid the most expensive and heartbreaking mistakes, so you can move into the next phase of your life feeling financially confident and knowing you did your best to prepare your family for what’s next… I am here to help!

Schedule a complimentary discovery call, where together we will look at your own unique situation and create a plan together so you know your next best steps.

Here to support you in divorcing differently,

HONEST & TRUSTWORTHY

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When you consider divorce, or if you know someone who is contemplating divorce, one of the biggest realities for those in the divorce process is uncertainty post-divorce. Get the assistance of Brenda Bridges, a Mediator and Certified Divorce Coach.

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