Getting back on your feet

How the founder of The Divorcierge, Karen Bigman, helps women to own their worth post-divorce

26 Apr 2018

In a series of video interviews with UBS, divorce life coach Karen Bigman, the founder of The Divorcierge, talks about how women can own their worth in all ways after a divorce. She speaks with UBS about her own journey, the genesis of her business and why it’s so rewarding to see women thrive after the tumult of divorce and stand on their own feet again.

The genesis of “Divorcierge”

Bigman came up with the idea of her business, The Divorcierge, when she ran into a friend of hers—then going through a divorce—who was overwhelmed by the choices out there by way of checking accounts. Although her friend was highly educated and ran her own business, she was “in tears” when she spoke about the financial and bill-paying issues that she once had allowed her ex-husband to handle.

“A-ha moments”

In this video, Bigman says she believes that “…fortunately, or unfortunately, as soon as we have children, that it’s our job to take care of the family and it’s our spouses’ job to take care of the bills,” said Bigman. “I always say marriage is a partnership. I always encourage anyone to understand finances, even if they’re not the ones doing the investing.” Bigman said that she’s seen that her clients are often aware of the fact that they ceded control to their partners by way of finances, but often regret it once the marriage dissolves. Find out more about these “a-ha” moments.

Being the decision maker

Bigman speaks about buying an apartment of her own—the first big financial decision she made without her spouse post-divorce. “I remember standing on a subway platform feeling an overwhelm of emotions come over me, and I started crying. I put my sunglasses on and called my broker.” She said later when she looked back on it, it was the idea that no one was going to tell her “no” or “yes” about her financial decisions.

Information and awareness

Bigman said that the process of gaining control over finances again has to do with “information and awareness” more than anything else. “The first thing is figuring out what you’re spending. Things change, children grow,” she said. “It’s really important to write down everything you can think of and categorize it. It’s the fear of the unknown, but once you have a plan, the fear can go away.”

Thinking about the finances

Bigman says that “women should have a role in taking care of the finances. It isn’t saying that we always need to know where the Standard & Poor’s is that day,” but rather knowing what your assets are, what your debts are and what it costs you to live. Hear her talk about how financial literacy should play a part in the lives of all women—from Millennials to the World War II generation.

The cost of living

“Often women who haven’t been taking care of finances don’t realize how expensive things are,” said Bigman. “The truth is that if you don’t look at your spending you may not know what it costs” to maintain your lifestyle—from keeping up a household to buying a daily cup of coffee.

Not all assets are created equal

“I see two things a lot,” said Bigman. “One is that women get very attached to their house. Homes are expensive, not just the owning the home, but all the expenses around it. The other thing is that not all things are created equal.” She talks about the reasons why it is so important to have someone look at what you actually have and what it is actually worth.

Everything happens for a reason

"One of the greatest things I get to see as part of what I do is when I see clients thrive post-divorce,” said Bigman. What seems like such a difficult and scary process in the beginning may not be as daunting as they thought, she said. “Once you get to the other side, you’ll know that everything happens for a reason.”

Are you ready to take charge of your financial future? Together we can find an answer. Connect with your UBS Financial Advisor or find one