Welcome to the second of our monthly series with Platform Scottsdale, a nonprofit organization that creates a platform for like-minded women to meet, mentor and build networking relationships with one another. This month’s fun feature is by Julie Kern.
Just hearing the word, “girlfriend” brings to mind happy thoughts of good times with the women in my life. I have a friendship that is more than 40 years old. Kimberly and I became childhood friends when her family bought the house two doors down from us. Today, we keep in regular contact and see each other several times a year even though we live in different states. (Her work travel schedule helps us do that.) Whenever we get together, there is never enough time for us to talk about all the things we want to share―updates on our families, work and lives. Over the years, we have celebrated each other’s accomplishments, shared our deepest fears, comforted each other through sorrow and loss and watched each other’s families grow. Whenever I receive an email from her saying that she is going to be in Phoenix, I immediately read it so that I can add the dates of her next visit to my calendar. It is a relationship I truly cherish.
We make girlfriends all through our lives. In childhood, we have friends with whom we often lose contact over the years. Facebook has made it easier to reconnect with them, and I enjoy seeing where their lives have taken them. If you attended college, you may have developed some really strong female friendships during those years. I was not a traditional college student. I got married and had a family right after high school, so I didn’t have the dorm experience. But my friendship with fellow students from my master’s program has blessed me with many women friends who work in my industry.
We also develop friendships with women through our work or business. I am fortunate enough to own a business where I work primarily with women as clients. Because I come alongside them during a very difficult and emotional time in their lives―divorce―I am able to have meaningful conversations with them and often develop deep friendships. As they move forward in their new lives as singles, I receive such personal reward in seeing them learn to confidently manage their finances.
Whether you are single or married, you may have several girlfriends who share your marital status. The friendships often develop because you have similar lifestyles. These women can understand the particular challenges of either marriage or being single. Having girlfriends you can turn to when you are struggling or who will celebrate you reaching new milestones makes the burdens more bearable and the successes more rewarding. There is a Swedish proverb that I love, “Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.”
Family is another source of female friendships. These are the people we didn’t choose to be in our lives, yet we often form the deepest relationships with them because we are related. In my family, I have a sister-in-law who is a dear, dear friend and my sister, Lynda, is my trusted advisor, counselor, confidante, and friend. When something goes wrong or right in my life, the first person I want to talk to is my girlfriend, my sister.
Associations, support groups, and other social organizations can also be a wonderful arena for friendships between women to develop. As a co-founder of Platform Scottsdale, I share in our mission to bring women from various areas of our lives together to meet, be inspired, support, mentor, and connect with each other in a fun, friendly, social environment. At one of our events you are likely to see stay-at-home moms, high level executives, business owners, singles, marrieds, and family members across different age groups, ethnicities, geographical areas, and backgrounds. We believe that there is great value in connecting fabulous women with each other and watching as they lift each other up. We have seen it come to fruition time and time again.
Today is a good day to reach out to a girlfriend in your life and let her know how much she means to you or how much you value the relationship. I have a few to reach out to right now!
In 1996, Perkins formed Owens & Perkins with her grandfather, C.D. Owens. Perkins practices in the areas of family law, including divorce, legal separation, paternity, child support, custody and relocation matters; business and corporate formation, including Limited Liablity Companies, lease negotiations, business counseling in a tough economy and dissolution of a business entity. She received the 2013 Martindale-Hubbell Client Distinction Award, which recognizes lawyers for their quality of service, overall value, responsiveness and communication ability.
Surprising fact: “The only thing I can cook is lasagna. Thankfully, my boyfriend can cook or I would starve.”
Biggest challenge: “Handling a full case load with multi-state, high conflict complex litigation and managing the law firm. My solution: excellent support staff.”
The Frutkin Law Firm continues to seek new ways to service more individuals and businesses in the Valley. The local law firm has added a new practice area called “Dividing Retirement Benefits,” which will allow their attorneys to help couples going through a divorce.
Other than the family home, retirement benefits are generally the most substantial assets to be divided in a divorce action. In today’s economic climate, they are also, arguably, the most important. According to the American Psychological Association, approximately 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher.
“Dividing retirement benefits in a divorce can be very complex, therefore many family law firms refer this work out to attorneys who specialize in the area,” said Principal Jonathan Frutkin.
The Frutkin Law Firm will help the large number of couples in the Valley facing these issues, as research indicates that Arizona is one of 14 states where divorce rates are higher than the national average, according to the U.S. Census Bureau 2009 American Community Survey.
The Frutkin Law Firm consists of nine attorneys with decades of experience in the core areas of business law, bankruptcy, estate and tax planning, and employee benefit plans. For more information on The Frutkin Law Firm and practices areas, visit www.frutkinlaw.com. For more information specifically on the new practice area, visit www.qdroaz.com.
Most people consider their wedding day among the greatest and most important days of their lives. A couple’s wedding day is filled with excitement and optimism about a future the couple plans to build together. After the honeymoon ends and life as a married couple begins, many couples do not achieve the “happily ever after” ending anticipated on their wedding day.
Recent statistics indicate that nearly 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce. http://www.divorcestatistics.info/divorce-statistics-and-divorce-rate-in-the-usa.html. Nationally, the divorce rate for those who are in their first marriage is approximately 41%-50%. The divorce rate goes up significantly for individuals who are in a second or third marriage. Statistics indicate approximately 60% to 67% of second marriages fail; 73% to 74% of third marriages end in divorce.
Where does Arizona rank nationally when it comes to divorce? It turns out that Arizona has one of the highest divorce rates in the country. According to a 2011 study by the U.S. Census Bureau approximately 10.8 out of every 1000 Arizona men got divorced the prior year; the national average for men is 9.2 per 1000. The divorce rate for Arizona women is even higher at 11.9 out of every thousand women. The national average for women is 9.7 per 1000.
Based on these numbers, Arizona had the 10th highest divorce rate in the country. The states that rank ahead of Arizona include: Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Nevada, Kentucky, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
There are a number of possible explanations as to why Arizona ranks so high nationally. Arizona is a no-fault divorce state. This means that you do not have to provide a specific reason for wanting to get divorced. This makes it easier than some states where a party seeking divorce must prove why the divorce is being sought. This makes it easier for couples to get a divorce without an attorney. Even if the other spouse disagrees the divorce will be granted.
Another explanation could be the difficult economy. It is no secret that Arizona has been one of the most hard-hit states in the country by the financial crisis. Many Arizona families have lost their jobs or homes. Financial stress and crisis often leads to marital discord and divorce.
No one can say for sure why Arizona’s divorce rate is so high. Every couple has their own individual and specific reasons for seeking a divorce. Whatever the reasons may be, it is apparent that married couples in Arizona are among the most likely in the country to not live “happily ever after.”