SHORT HILLS, NJ - For Karolina Dehnhard, helping women excel and become the ‘best version of themselves’ isn’t just an important part of her career as a family law attorney, it’s her life’s calling. Whether they are getting married, choosing to live with their partner or facing a divorce, Dehnhard is dedicated to educating women, at all stages of their lives, about the impact New Jersey’s family law can have upon their lives and their financial well-being.
After graduating at the top of her class from New York Law School – where she still serves as adjunct professor – Dehnhard joined the prominent Short Hills Law Firm Budd Larner and has since dedicated her career to helping her clients make the most educated and financially-viable decisions for themselves and their families.
In the ever-changing world of family law, Dehnhard views continuous education essential to helping women understand and navigate their lives through the financial challenges that can occur when relationships change. This is especially important to the women who are financially dependent upon their spouses or significant others. That’s why Dehnhard’s personal goal is to provide women with the most up-to-date and relevant information they need to be prepared for whatever life offers.
To do this effectively, Dehnhard focuses on connecting divorcing women to vetted professionals specifically geared to their individual circumstances. These professionals include a broad range of financial planners, forensic accountants, brokers, realtors, career coaches, family counselors and other experts who could assist these women overcome some of their new found obstacles. The initiative, dubbed “Better than Ever” allows women who may be overwhelmed with the process seek out new contacts and juggle all of the other areas of their lives while they are literally trying to pick-up the pieces and start a new path.
“I believe it is essential to offer these vulnerable women a means to build confidence and gain the knowledge they need to get back on their feet and rebuild a new life filled with endless possibilities,” explained an enthusiastic Dehnhard. “As both an immigrant from Poland who arrived in this country without speaking the language and a divorced woman, I know first-hand what it means to be vulnerable and how essential it is to have a team of supporters behind you who are dedicated to helping you build happy new chapters in your life. That is why I am so passionate and proud about the establishment of ‘Better than Ever.’ It speaks so true to my heart.”
Dehnhard credits the origin of her “Better than Ever” initiative to her association with B.I.G. (Believe, Inspire, Grow). At B.I.G., she witnessed first-hand the amazing power that can occur when you create environments that offer positive support and the tools that people need to move their lives forward. Many of the women and professional resources that Dehnhard now offers to her law clients come from the strong relationships she has developed through her association with B.I.G..
Dehnhard has been actively engaged with B.I.G. for nearly two years as a valued member, speaker, a sponsor and beginning in June as a co-leader of B.I.G.’s vibrant Short Hills-Millburn pod. A popular and engaging speaker for B.I.G., who presents regularly on the topic, “A Smart Women Knows How to Protect her Ass(ets),” Dehnhard educates hundreds of New Jersey women, both through her live presentations and her radio appearances, about their financial rights and the impact their financial decisions can have on their businesses and their lives.
Through B.I.G. and its “sister organization” Leading Women Entrepreneurs and Business Owners of New Jersey, where she was recently nominated as a 2015 Top 100 Women Intrapreneur finalist, Dehnhard remains steadfast and dedicated to helping entrepreneurial women throughout the state gain access to the help they need.
Her dedication to helping women transcends both geographic boundaries and age. Last summer, she embarked on an international retreat with fellow New Jersey business leaders to Cork, Ireland to explore best practices with Irish women business owners and most recently was appointed to the Corporate Advisory Board of the Boy’s and Girls’ Club, where she will serve as a mentor to some of the state’s most vulnerable young girls. Dehnhard has found her true passion resides in helping women of all ages and from all places, gain the support, education and connections they need to move their life’s dreams and goals forward.
As she approaches a new and exciting decade in her life, the powerful words her mother spoke to Dehnhard at the tender age of six still linger in her mind. She realized early in her life that a woman’s journey is never a straight one. She recognizes that whenever women’s goals seem to get temporarily derailed or back burnered, as long as she has a vibrant and loyal support system of people, who have her best interest in mind, the life she can lead can be more enhanced and fulfilling than anyone could have imagined.
Dehnhard brings this positive mindset to all the women she meets in all areas of her life.
Editor's Note: TAP into B.I.G. is an ongoing series of articles profiling women entrepreneurs in our communities and is part of a unique partnership between TAP into and B.I.G. (Believe, Inspire, Grow), the women’s education, networking and support group for women entrepreneurs.