Wealthy women are outsourcing divorce stress to ‘concierges’

Wealthy women are outsourcing divorce stress to 'concierges'




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After a heartbreaking divorce, every molehill appears like a mountain. Luckily, you probably can outsource a number of the mountaineering.

For Lori Bookstein, 58, non-public funds had been a nightmare after her reduce up from her husband of 32 years.

“I needed to get my own credit card,” Bookstein tells The Post. At the monetary establishment, the paintings gallerist says, “I couldn’t get one because I didn’t have any debt or history of borrowing. I felt like I was in some alternate universe.”

For Gundula Brattke, 58, the aim was to stop being “bitter” after she caught her husband of 12 years having an affair collectively along with her best pal.

“I had already been through the trenches,” says Brattke, who moved from her residence inside the Berkshires to Park Slope. “[But] the struggle doesn’t end with the divorce.”

So the women did what any sane New Yorker with the means to would do: They found execs to help them vanish the pains of divorce away.

For divorcés, there’s no shortage of native belongings aimed towards untangling the numerous knots that crop up inside the aftermath of a dissolved marriage. There’s Onward, a model new concierge service that, for $150 up, will help the newly single deal with the mundane logistics of breakups, from discovering a model new rental fast to getting your establish off your ex’s utilities. There’s moreover Worthy, a New York-based digital-friendly gem auctioneer which ensures divorcing women truthful prices for his or her engagement diamonds with out the sketch challenge of 47th Street. Google outcomes current a couple of dozen divorce coaches and concierges (with locations of labor in Manhattan) that help customers with each little factor from packing up their residences to unpacking their emotional baggage.

Bookstein, who describes herself as “clueless” about money, turned to Karen Bigman, a okay a the “Divorcierge,” a Columbia Business School graduate who’s put her finance and administration savvy to work for males and women going by means of divorce.

“A lot of women make the same deal: ‘I’ll take care of the house and the kids and you take care of the money,’ never imagining that they will get divorced,” says Bigman. So she walks Bookstein and her totally different customers by means of each little factor from paying funds to divvying up their funding portfolios. Her help doesn’t come low price: Her fees start at $15,000 for six months of service. But Bigman says it evens out inside the grand scheme, and as well as to, her customers really need it: Lots of the people she works with, she says, “have no clue how to sign into their bank account.”

‘I’m half shrink, half coach, half surrogate accomplice, half one thing you want me to be.’

Her fellow divorce execs are equally eager to keep their customers’ fingers.

“I’m part shrink, part coach, part surrogate spouse, part anything you want me to be,” says Betsy Cox, 55, the divorce concierge behind Blackbook Divorce. For $350 an hour, Cox — who moreover has a scripted TV current inside the works — spends her days doing regardless of her high-net-worth customers need, be that laundry or organising a date with one different divorcé from her ritzy Rolodex, compiled all through a stint in shopper relations at an Arab monetary establishment.

“I had a client who would say, ‘Come and meet me at this bar at 8 a.m.,’ ” says Cox. “He’d start having drinks and I’d have to act like I didn’t realize he was an alcoholic. From there, we would go looking for an apartment. Then we would need to furnish it . . . I basically became his wife.”

Another shopper had her play housemaid at his posh Soho condominium whereas he wined and dined a model new squeeze. She “played housekeeper,” and cooked pasta and filet mignon whereas the couple flirted.

Aside from showing as a type of matchmaking TaskRabbit, Cox helps customers navigate the licensed, financial and emotional internet of divorce. She teaches her female customers “who have spent the last 20 years having lunch” about how to start their careers all through life’s second act. “Most of them become real-estate brokers,” she says, noting that she moreover focuses on discovering her customers off-market residences after their splits.
The divorce energy: Liza Caldwell (from left), Karen Bigman and Elsie Pettus are the fixers serving to NYC divorcées navigate life after marriage.
Brian Zak/NY Post

Of course, there’s additional to the aftermath of a divorce than logistical issues and paperwork — there’s the emotional stuff, too.

“It’s a true life crisis,” says Liza Caldwell, a divorce coach who runs a breakup counseling service referred to as SAS for Women.

Jamie Dillard, 37, found Caldwell — whose fees differ from $300-plus per hour for private educating to $1,000 for 3 months of digital session — after her husband of 10 years left immediately.

“I didn’t know how to be alone,” she says. “I had never lived alone in my life. My identity was so wrapped up in the marriage.”

Dillard says that Caldwell addressed her divorce holistically, and helped her break down this “life challenge” proper right into a pie chart with each slice representing a part of her identification that was affected.

“She asked me to take some deep breaths and get in touch with what was going on in my body,” says Dillard. “She asked what I felt and where that feeling was in my body. She asked about its texture and what its color was. And she asked, ‘What is its name?’ I immediately started crying, because I realized you carry a sense of shame, guilt and trauma like a piece of luggage.”

Dillard says Caldwell’s smart and emotionally supportive educating allowed her to look inward and shed “the trauma of emotional and spiritual abuse” in its place of panicking over attorneys or money.

“I started taking guitar lessons again,” she says. “I threw myself more into my career. I moved firms and got a promotion. I was bright, bright blonde for 15 years and I dyed my hair brunette. I purged everything in the house. Everything that was colorful, I changed to white. I want my surroundings to feel clean and different. Suddenly, I am running in Central Park and I am going to SoulCycle. I became a ‘yes’ person.”

SAS for Women shopper Jamie Dillard fills her post-divorce life with workouts and guitar courses.Tamara Beckwith/NY Post

For some women, therapeutic is as simple as discovering a neighborhood of current associates — a well-curated one, ideally.

To switch earlier the ache from her reduce up, Brattke joined UNtied, a membership-based group based out of founder Elise Pettus’ posh Brooklyn Heights townhouse. Sort of similar to the Wing for divorced women, UNtied — on a price range end of the businesses for divorced women, at $35 per 30 days — hosts wine and cheese nights, workshops and expert-led panel discussions on such issues as how to hire a lawyer, parenting troublesome youngsters and intercourse in midlife.

Having associates, it appears, was all that Brattke really needed to get her groove once more. She joined Bumble with the help of UNtied consultants, and is now happily in a relationship. She’s even based mostly her private agency: Ski Souls, a journey agency that hosts luxurious group ski and snowboard journeys for solo vacationers.

“Meeting other women in the same situation I was in opened my eyes to the fact that I didn’t have to be in misery by myself,” says Brattke. “It was life-changing.”

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