Legal Blog

Unleashing Your Inner Barbie: Embracing Independence after Divorce

While some may view the Barbie Movie as nothing more than a whimsical, kitschy movie based on the famous Mattel doll. However, when viewed through the lens of Ms. Greta Gerwig, the film’s director, the film illuminates Barbie’s journey of self-discovery as Barbie learns how to stand on her own two legs, both literally and figuratively, realizing that she does not need a “Ken” to define herself. Thus, she asserts her independence and defines herself on her own terms, free from the constraints of societal norms and expectations.

In marriages, women often grapple with identity issues, feeling like their sense of self has been replaced by their role as a wife or mother. A common cause for divorce is a spouse’s desire and need to rediscover their identity. In post-divorce life, many women face the challenge of discovering who they are, what skills and resources they will need to navigate an independent life, where they fit into society, and, most importantly, how to successfully and meaningfully live life without their “Ken.” Progressing forward post-divorce is more challenging for more women than men since many must remain financially connected to their “Ken” through spousal and child support payments. Closure becomes more elusive, hindering pursuing new opportunities and nurturing personal growth.  

Whether you want to be a Teacher Barbie, an Attorney Barbie, a Nurse Barbie, or a Real Estate Agent Barbie, it is important, post-divorce, to surrender to your imagination and rely on your matrimonial attorney. They should not only have the experience to navigate you through the financial intricacies of divorce but also demonstrate empathy for your post-divorce journey. Recognize that finding your best Barbie may require additional support, such as a competent financial planner to help you manage assets, a therapist to boost self-esteem and confidence, or a vocational coach to aid in re-entering the workforce. Trust in this collaborative approach to empower yourself and pave the way for a fulfilling post-divorce life.

In a poignant moment near the movie’s end, Barbie reflects, “I don’t think I have an ending.” Ruth Handler, the creator of Barbie (or rather her ghost, as portrayed by Rhea Perlman), affirms that this lack of conclusion was intentional. “That was always the point,” she explains to Barbie, “I created you so you wouldn’t have an ending.” Like Barbie’s story, divorce is not an end but a new beginning. It’s your narrative to shape, filled with choices and the occasional misstep. Embrace your journey, forgive yourself for any missteps, and remember to draw strength from your inner Barbie whenever doubt creeps in.

In the journey of life, divorce marks not an ending but a beginning – an opportunity to redefine yourself and craft your own narrative. As you navigate this new chapter, our legal team is here to provide the support and guidance you need to empower yourself and embrace your future with confidence. Reach out to us today to take the first step towards reclaiming your independence and authoring your own story. Remember, you’re not alone – let us help you channel your inner Barbie and write the next chapter of your life.

NOTE: BARBIE is a registered trademark of MATTEL, INC.


Professional headshot of Attorney Stephanie | 973.245.9891

Stephanie F. Lehman is a principal in the firm’s Family Law practice group. For over 25 years, Stephanie’s practice has focused on representing clients in New York and New Jersey in all areas of matrimonial, family and fertility law. In addition to handling litigation matters through trial and appeals in both states, she is trained in the collaborative process and mediation.

Stephanie commonly negotiates prenuptial, postnuptial, settlement and separation agreements. She advises clients on pension and retirement plans, stock options and grants, trusts, limited partnerships, closely held corporations, the valuation of businesses, professional licenses, enhanced earning capacity and celebrity status.