Weather Forecast


New business offers help for those experiencing divorce

Divorce is a multi-billion dollar industry in America, and oftentimes the high expense is paired with a great deal of emotional stress and conflict. While the financial and legal side of a divorce can be handled by lawyers and bankers, the emotional side can be more difficult. That’s why Hastings resident Sarah Heil-Brenny decided to open her own business.

New Beginnings Services is a divorce center that specializes in the emotional side of divorce. Heil-Brenny offers her clients divorce mediation before and after divorce, child custody evaluation, parenting consultation for parents who need help making decisions, goal-focused divorce coaching, co-parenting coaching, support groups, educational classes and referrals to other useful services.

New Beginnings Services sprouted from Heil-Brenny’s own experiences.

“I went through a really messy divorce myself,” she said.

At the time, she didn’t have any education about divorce issues and she made some bad and expensive decisions, she said.

“I don’t want a parent to go through what I went through,” she said.

Since then, she’s learned a lot, and now she’s even working on getting her Ph.D. in clinical social work, with an emphasis in parental alienation.

Now, Heil-Brenny is a state-licensed divorce mediator and child custody evaluator, and she’s also a licensed clinical social worker. She brings experience from her former jobs with Accessible Space, the Mayo Clinic and Dakota County.

Communication is a key piece of divorce, Heil-Brenny said, and that’s why her services can be so valuable. As a mediator, she can provide a perspective that isn’t emotionally tied to the situation and, therefore, can help people better understand each other.

Another important aspect of divorce is the children involved. Children are emotional barometers of how well their parents are co-parenting during and after divorce, Heil-Brenny said. And while it’s easy for parents to focus on each other during divorce, children are also experiencing a huge loss.

“As parents, it’s important to focus on your child more than you hate your ex,” she said.

Ultimately, parents can control whether their divorce impacts their children for a short time or for the rest of the lives, she said.

Heil-Brenny started her business in 2011 and has largely been involved in web-based coaching. Starting May 12, she’s opening her office in Hastings. She decided to open an office because she realized that many people in the south metro don’t have a lot of time to take classes in St. Paul, she said. Now she’ll be able to offer classes, support groups and in-person coaching locally.

She’s also focused on providing services at a reasonable cost, so help is available even for low-income couples going through a divorce.

For more information about New Beginnings Services, go to or find “New Beginnings LLC” on Facebook. The phone number is 651-308-1028.