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Navigating the Financial Labyrinth of Divorce

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Author, Barbara Provost, EdD and Founder of Purse Strings

Divorce can be an emotionally debilitating for a woman. As she struggles with such a major change in her life, it may soon become clear that her financial future is yet another realm of this transition. While she realizes that the choices she makes may be life altering for herself and her family, she also may be confronted by the reality that she is unprepared to understand or deal with the complexities of her financial situation and how it will impact, perhaps even determine, her future.

         I understand that women facing divorce are at a crossroads of their lives. They’re afraid, confused and are often plagued by self-doubt knowing that they are not prepared to make smart, definitive decisions. Imagining their life as it unfolds means they need guidance and support based on experience and compassion. I know exactly how they feel because I am one of the millions of women who have gone through a divorce. When I developed Purse Strings, one of my primary goals was to bring to women the experience and knowledge I had been looking for and to help them craft a solid, financial future, one which they not only understood, but one in which they were in control. That’s why a financial professional with an Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts (IDFA) certification is so valuable.

         The first step for a woman contemplating separation or going through a divorce is to clearly determine where she stands financially—from the money in her own bank account as well as the money in any joint accounts with her husband, investments, real estate, debts and all other issues in which money is involved. Of course, planning for children’s future is intricately interwoven into taking the next step to make her financially fearless.

         Purse Strings identifies with women, educates them, encourages them and empowers them by helping them connect with top tier financial professionals who know what the women want and need when making their financial decisions that will affect their future. During their period of anticipating and going through a divorce, we first help them help understand from where they are coming and identify the myriad obstacles they may face. As our work evolves with them, they look to us to better navigate financial planning, budgeting, managing debt, investing, and planning for retirement.

         Many women have had little or no experience working with financial professionals. What interactions they may have encountered were often frustrating and nonproductive, with the financial professional talking down to them and failing to fully communicate how to make the best decisions or even ignoring the parameters of those decisions.

         Purse Strings never talks down to women because we know they are razor sharp, intuitive and ready to become the masters of their own finances and those of their changing family dynamics. Purse Strings Approved Professionals take the time to focus on a woman’s individual needs and goals. The cookie-cutter approach, used by so many “veteran” pros is out-of-date and out-of-touch. This becomes especially important during separation and divorce.

Purse Strings’ free, fact-filled tools and resources, available 24/7, are comprehensive without being overwhelming. They give women confidence, insight and, most importantly, the tools they can immediately put into practice to change or establish the direction of their financial futures.

I am humbled by the trust women place in us because they feel comfortable thinking of us as their “partner” as they take the next steps forward. What is usually a very dark time in their lives can be punctuated by light because they are becoming well-versed in the intricacies of finances and are beginning to feel like they have knowledge and power. They’re no longer at the mercy of their husbands and uncaring financial professionals. They are in control. They are strong. They are incredible.

 Barbara Provost has a Doctorate in Adult and Higher Education, and has had a long career in the financial industry. With a background as an educator and consultant, she became a nationally-recognized entrepreneur when she founded Purse Strings in 2015. Her passion for serving the female market is evident as Purse Strings is aligning with leading individuals and prestigious organizations targeted to women’s financial independence and growth.  Visit for more information.

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