Divorce Survival Guide

 Expert on a mission to help women handle money

By Patty McCormac
San Diego Union TribuneAbout Ginita Wall, CPA, CFP®, CDFA

CARMEL VALLEY – Ginita Wall hands out bumper stickers that read: “A man is not a financial plan.” 

It’s not that she dislikes men. This is one of the ways she gets her message across that women need to have a financial plan other than finding a husband.

“Everyone thinks they will grow up, get married and live happily ever after, but all marriages end either in death or divorce,” said Wall, a CPA who is a nationally recognized expert on women and money.

In the case of divorce, Wall knows that women who are not educated about how to fight for what is rightfully theirs can end up with “the fuzzy end of the lollipop,” she said, quoting Marilyn Monroe from “Some Like It Hot.”

To that end, Wall has made it a mission to help women help themselves through untying the knot and handling their money before, during and after a divorce.

Wall was named one of the top 250 financial advisers in the country by Worth magazine and has written six books on women and finance. She is co-founder of the nonprofit Woman’s Institute for Financial Education, or WIFE, which has evolved into WIFE.org.

Although Wall commands $200/hour for advice through her accounting and financial planning firm she runs from her Carmel Valley home, the average woman can take advantage of her expertise for very little money.

“For some reason it feels like a calling. It’s my charity,” she said.

For women who are about to divorce, she recommends taking a half-day workshop called “Second Saturday” from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the San Elijo campus of MiraCosta College. For a fee of $45, women learn what they need to know about divorce, from legal and financial matters to social and emotional issues.

Wall’s pamphlet, “150 Ways to Divorce Without Going Broke,” includes advice such as delaying the separation if the spouse is expecting a windfall, but if the woman is the one expecting a large amount of money, she should leave before.

Before a woman leaves a marriage, she should repair the house and car, buy clothing for herself and the children and purchase other necessities while she can still use community property money.

“Divorce is not about manners. It’s about survival,” she said.

Another resource for women is The Money Club a nonprofit Web site that advises women how to form clubs to help handle finances. Based on the structure of an investment club, these women can set their own goals such as saving for retirement or for their children’s education or gaining control over a budget, Wall said.

For further information, go to www.planforwealth.com,

Comments

  1. You mentioned the workshop covers emotional and social issues, which can be a big problem for those considering divorce. It is difficult to be determined when social or emotional burdens haven’t been sufficiently resolved. Seems like those items alone could take up a few four hour sessions.

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