Following a divorce, a woman’s household income can drop by as much as 41 percent. So it’s no wonder they often find themselves in dire financial straits after the dissolution of a marriage.
A certified divorce financial analyst, Christine Palmer Hennigan helps clients safeguard themselves against such hardships. Hennigan has worked in the field for nearly 30 years as a chartered financial consultant with 1847Financial in estate and financial planning. She also began a second business, Divorce Wealth Strategies, about 20 years ago. Through her West Chester-based company, she hones in on women’s financial health—especially those recently and suddenly single. Many women hand over financial matters to their husbands, and that can be problematic in the event of divorce or death. “They become entirely overwhelmed by the financial conversation,” she says. “It just kind of lit a fire under me, and I really wanted to take care of these women and help them to spread the word.”
Hennigan wants her clients to become more involved and ask questions, checking on finances regularly. They need to be equipped with the right tools to have relevant conversations, and they also need to understand what to look for—everything from home values to portfolios. “Everybody should have an awareness and an involvement, even if they’re not in the day-to-day,” Hennigan says. “You don’t know if money’s missing if you didn’t know what was there in the first place.”
Over the past few years, Hennigan has gone national with her “knowledge is power” message through fireside chats, private events and talks at the Invest in Women Conference. She’s also built an impressive roster of clients throughout the country. “It’s important for the next generation—and our daughters are watching,” Hennigan says. “We need to be able to have the conversations with them, to show them by example.”