Member Success Story: Help Through a Divorce

brown recycled paper with a tear down the middle, and on one side of the tear is a silhouette of a mother holding her baby and standing next to her young daughter, and on the other side of the tear is the silhouette of the father looking at his wife and children40-50% of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce,1 and “the split” brings major financial shifts before, during, and after the process.  Cara was dealing with that pressure when she began working with her Money Coach, Angelik.  Through MSA, Cara ended up receiving more than financial guidance for the divorce.  Through one-on-one consultations, Angelik helped her feel more confident about how to proceed with the legal side of the process, and how to not lose sight of other financial goals – like selling a home and planning for retirement.

When she entered the program, Cara didn’t have a clear picture of her finances, so her Money Coach helped her track expenses and create a budget.  Together, they looked at Cara’s spending, and how it would change throughout the divorce (e.g. the possibility of spousal support, funding/receiving shares of retirement accounts, and more).

Cara and Angelik talked about how to navigate the impact of a divorce on the $1.7M she and her husband had in assets.  For example, the list revealed that Cara had a good amount of savings – $20K, but recent events depleted that sum; in response, Coach Angelik showed Cara how to rebuild those savings.

Cara was grateful for addressing other financial goals, and had this to say about working with Angelik: “She has offered other resources at MSA as I go through the sale of our home and figuring out just what my financial plan will be, in addition to setting a budget and tracking my spending.”

As important as the divorce was, Cara also wanted to focus on the future, so Angelik got her connected with another Money Coach who specializes in retirement planning and analysis. Money Coach Graham encouraged Cara about her ability to boost retirement savings while still managing a divorce and the sale of a home.

In order for Cara to receive well-rounded support for the divorce, the consultations not only built a strong financial foundation but also touched on the legal side of things.  Cara said, “[My Coach] has also been helpful in guiding me to ask questions of my attorney and others that are timely and necessary in my preparation for the next steps I have to go through.”  They covered topics like…

  • Creating goals and identifying questions
  • Gathering the necessary information
  • Who to contact – the attorney or the paralegal
  • How to approach the conversation when talking with the attorney

Beforehand, Cara was reluctant to contact the attorney and unsure of what to do, but meetings with a Money Coach gave her a way to talk through the issues and feel better about her actions.

Cara came to MSA with a lot of worry about her divorce, her finances, and her future.  Through a financial wellness survey, her Money Coach identified her stress level as 3.25 out of 10, signifying that she had very high financial stress.  Luckily, the consultations removed some of that stress.  “Angelik is able to respond to my various questions and frustrations about getting my financial affairs tracked and budgeted for, as I got through a divorce, and [having] to learn about all of these things from a different perspective.”  After working with her Coach, Cara saw major financial wellness score improvement: she went from 3.25 to 6.25!

The MSA Financial Wellness program helped Cara work through the pressures of a divorce and gave her hope for a better tomorrow.  Because of MSA’s holistic approach, Cara was able to address multiple topics (divorce, home sale, basic finances, retirement, etc.), and improve her situation.  She received guidance, support, and an action plan for turning financial challenges into financial goals.

Talk to a Money Coach about how to approach your financial goals and challenges just like Cara.  Call 888-724-2326 today.

The Snapshot of Success
a table showing the impact on finances before and after working with a money coach: 3.25 financial well-being score versus 6.25; 0 days working with a money coach versus 180; scared and unsure emotional state versus confident and well-equipped

1“Marriage & Divorce.”  apa.org.  N.p.  N.d.  Web.  13 Jan. 2014.