As millions of people get ready for a romantic evening tonight, two Manhattan women are preparing for the worst.
Mother-daughter duo Francine Baras and Nicole Baras Feuer are hard at work, planning New York City’s very first divorce expo, slated for a March 31 debut at the Metropolitan Pavilion.
“There are bridal shows and things to help a bride get married, but then there’s nothing for when she gets divorced,” said Feuer. “There are a lot of people who are lost and confused.”
Feuer, 42, who is herself divorced, and works as a divorce and family mediator, and Baras, 70, a therapist, have pooled their combined expertise to curate "Start Over Smart," an expo designed to help divorcees transition from spouses to singles.
Plastic surgeons, attorneys, therapists, and even wardrobe consultants from Macy’s will be on hand to help the thousands of attendees navigate the foreign future of singledom. There will also be divorce courses, including lessons in personal finance and life coach lessons from Cheryl Richardson, said Feuer.
“I basically created a wishlist of everything that I needed and I’m going to help others find it,” Feuer said. “Divorce can be horrible, but we’re going to give people all the tools they need.”
Tickets to the expo cost between $125 and $200 — and no, there won’t be a couple’s discount.
Valentine’s Day nuptials
Because you first have to get married in order to get divorced, Metro asked New York City Clerk Michael McSweeney for his guess on the number of couples that will tie the knot today at City Hall.
McSweeney said his office was aflutter yesterday with people applying for marriage licenses, excited to wed on the most romantic day of the year.
“Last year, we had close to 170 ceremonies,” McSweeney said, who said that number is much higher than a regular day. “Because it’s a Tuesday, it will probably be the same or maybe higher.”
Manhattan leads the way in divorces
According to the state health department, more divorces occur in Manhattan than any other borough.
Of New York City’s 23,698 divorces in 2009, 10,375 were on the island. Brooklyn had the second most divorces with 5,394 and Queens had the third most with 4,683. Just 831 couples got divorced in Staten Island and only 2,415 couples split in the Bronx.
Still, the overall divorce rate in New York state in 2010, 2.8 per 1,000 people, is significantly lower than the national average, 3.6 per 1,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control.