Karolina Dehnhard was born in Poland. By the mere age of six, Karolina and her mother immigrated to the United States. Arriving with one suitcase, two hundred dollars, and the promise of living out the American Dream, they settled down amidst fellow immigrants in a small Brooklyn neighborhood. It was during those early years filled with turmoil and uncertainty, that Karolina would face, and then overcome, numerous obstacles and adversities. She learned, at an early age, that nothing in life came easy.
Instilled with a desire to learn and excel, Karolina commenced her education to fulfill her thirst for knowledge. After earning both her undergraduate and graduate degrees, she began her career helping others as the Assistant Executive Director of a New Jersey non-profit organization. She met, and then married, an aspiring attorney and politician, believing at that time that she had found her “happily ever after.”
Karolina was 30 when she found out that her “happily ever after” was indeed a fairy tale. After a few tumultuous months, and feeling unprepared to make many of the difficult decisions integral to the process, she found herself divorced. Regardless of the reasons, it was a sobering event in her life. Determined, undaunted and driven harder than ever, Karolina decided to turn her divorce into a law degree.
Finishing law school in the top 1% of her class, Karolina recognized the need to surround herself with strong like-minded women who would not take “no” for an answer. She clerked for the Honorable Rosemary Ramsay, now the presiding judge in the Civil Division in Morris County, who very quickly became her mentor. Following her clerkship, Karolina joined the prestigious law firm of Budd Larner, P.C., located in Short Hills, New Jersey, which was founded in 1934. She found her calling as a family law attorney and matrimonial litigator. Gaining experience, she rose through the ranks quickly. Today, after only six years with the Firm, she serves as Counsel to the Family Law Department and continues to focus her career exclusively on family law matters.
Drawing from her experience in philanthropy, politics, advocacy and with an ongoing desire to help others, Karolina has continued to expand her network; helping those who have found themselves in the same situation she was just a few short years ago. Recognizing that every person has the ability to “Turn the Page,” her mantra, to “Prepare, Protect, Partner to Prosper” is at the core of her on-going philosophy and something that she seeks to instill in others. Her never-ending drive, ability to connect, and desire to help have given her the opportunity to spread this message through television, the airwaves, numerous speaking platforms, and local, national and even international networking events. Despite it all, she has not lost touch with her origins. She gives back by her philanthropy; sitting on numerous charitable and non-profit boards, working with numerous charities, teaching, and fundraising.
For Karolina, empowering women, helping them protect their assets and become the best they can be is not just an important part of her career as a family law attorney: it is her life’s calling. Karolina’s fairy tale has been re-written.