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Women considering divorce can get compassionate information on legal, financial, family and personal issues of divorce

COURTESY PHOTO  - Julie Johnson is the director of the Portland area Second Saturday Divorce Workshops.

When co-founders and KPBS Local Heroes Candace Bahr and Cinita Wall founded Second Saturday Divorce Workshops through their nonprofit 25 years ago in Southern California, they never imagined that they would be offering support to tens of thousands of women as they struggled with the potentially devastating process of divorce. Second Saturday Divorce Workshops have cropped up around the country, and with more than 50% of marriages ending in divorce, it is clear that more help is needed.

In that same spirit, and with the permission of, Julie Johnson has modeled the Portland area Second Saturday Divorce Workshop after the game-changing original.

"Divorce is not easy, and we are proud to affiliate with to provide this Second Saturday workshop," Johnson said. "It is our hope that people attending the workshop will decide to work on their marriages and keep their families intact rather than go through the rigors of divorce. But regardless, Second Saturday provides a great opportunity for women to acquire non-biased, straightforward information and options to help them focus on what they need to do legally, financially and emotionally through difficult times, and hopefully save a whole lot of time, grief and money."

The next Second Saturday Divorce Workshop will be held Sept. 14 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the second floor of The Container Store building at Bridgeport Village. The workshop will address the legal, financial, family and personal issues of divorce in a logical, yet compassionate way. With the guidance of trained professionals, participants will gain greater understanding of the confusing divorce process in a way that can save them tens of thousands of dollars and may help them avoid going to court.

"People don't know what they don't know," said Johnson, who is a financial planner by profession. Workshops are intended to educate women, and material is presented by family law attorneys, mediators, family therapists and financial advisors. Each participant is also given a workbook full of resources and worksheets.

"They may need homeowner's insurance, a career coach, even makeovers if they are reentering the workforce," she said. Attendees are welcome to attend the workshops as many times as needed, and they are also offered free consultations with the professionals either by phone or in person.

An attorney who presents often at the workshops is Christine Furrer, of Fischer Family Law in Lake Oswego.

"The workshops are so empowering," Johnson said. "They can be life changing. The women come to the workshops afraid — you can physically see they feel knocked down. Then they recognize they are not the only one going through this, and they see they can find their way. They leave feeling encouraged and educated."

There is a fee for the workshop and scholarships are available. The fee is $40 payable online at, or $45 at the door, cash or check only please. For more information call 503-201-6815.

The Second Saturday Divorce Workshop program was founded in 1989 by the nonprofit, the Women's Institute of Financial Education. Second Saturday has helped thousands of individuals navigate the divorce process, and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships and programs to help women become financially independent. For more information visit

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