Matt Mikula is a happily married man who has become a divorce guru.
About eight years ago, Mr. Mikula was helping a client who was struggling through a break up with her husband. He realized that no one was telling her that she wouldn't be able to maintain the same lifestyle as a single person that she enjoyed in her marriage.
That loss of perspective is typical during the whirlwind of a divorce, according to Mr. Mikula. He saw it as an opening to provide a valuable service to clients.
"People get caught up in those smaller battles, and they forget to step back and really take a look at the bigger picture," said Mr. Mikula, a principal at Balasa Dinverno Foltz. "What a great way to help at a very challenging time in their lives."
Mr. Mikula earned a certified divorce financial analyst designation and established a divorce niche at his firm. He's become an expert in the field and teaches continuing education classes for the American Bar Association and the Mediation Council.
Though the niche is growing, there are still few advisers in the space, Mr. Mikula said.
"People are making some of the biggest financial decisions of their lives during a divorce," he said. "Not having a financial adviser really opens themselves up to a lot of risk."
But Mr. Mikula can't share personal experiences of family breakup with divorced clients.
About his wife and four daughters, he explains: "They're the center of my life. They're everything to me, and everything I work for."
ó Mark Schoeff Jr.
Financial planner, TrustCore Financial Inc.