A divorce coach is often a vital, but perhaps lesser known, member of the team you will be putting together as you move forward with your divorce. I recommend divorce coaches in all my cases because they help my clients get clear on their goals and concerns, communicate more effectively, advocate for themselves more productively, and not get trapped in the same dysfunctional patterns of behavior with their spouse that was ever-present during their marriage.

Divorce coaches help people to get through their divorce process. Divorce coaching is not therapy or counseling, it is support and guidance for someone going through divorce so they can make better decisions instead of emotional decisions:

  • communicate more effectively with your spouse and attorney

When you married your spouse, you were swept away by his or her charms. Now that you’re divorcing, you may be concerned that mediation won’t be the right process because you’re convinced that your spouse will sway the mediator in his or her favor. As professional divorce mediators, we can assure you: we will not be swayed by your soon-to-be-ex’s magnetism.

Although your spouse may have what you consider to be wit, wealth or good looks that have allowed him or her to move through life with ease, we assure you that when you are in the mediation room, we see you as just two people who are trying to do the right thing while making hard decisions during a very difficult time in your lives.

As divorce mediators, we are neutral, impartial professionals working on behalf of both of you. The goal is to help you to find a way to resolve your marital conflicts and dissolve your marriage with terms that you each feel are fair and equitable. Unlike your divorce attorney who is there to advocate for you, we are trained to stay neutral to help you find mutual ground and the best solution for your unique situation.

Over the past few years, my law and mediation practice has seen a significant increase in requests for prenuptial agreements. A recent New York Times article The Rise of the Millennial Prenup cites the following contributing factors for the increase: millennials are marrying later, they are bringing more assets to the marriage and more women are in the workforce. According to an AAML survey (American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers), 51% of divorce attorneys are seeing prenuptial agreements on the rise in the millennial generation, with the most cited issues:

• 78% protection of separate property

• 74% alimony/spousal maintenance

As a divorce lawyer, my days are spent untangling the married lives of people who no longer want to be married, and who sometimes should never have gotten married in the first place. In a recent New York Times article Single at 38? Have That Baby, the author shares her decision to deliberately get pregnant and have a child at 39, without being married or even in a relationship.

A marriage of convenience is in fact often highly inconvenient. The decision to have a child is a very personal one. Times have changed, and the decision for a single woman to have a child does not mandate marriage. The myth that a child is both financially and emotionally better off with two parents is often just that: a myth.

Single parenthood isn’t always a choice, but for women who are unmarried and hearing their biological clock ticking away during the last years of their 30s, choosing to become a single parent can be a preferable option to getting married solely in order to get pregnant and have a child.

Dissolving a marriage or partnership is never easy: divorce and mediation are never stress-free. Many factors need to be considered, decisions need to be made and plans need to be mutually agreed upon. Your divorce lawyer is an integral part of ending your marriage, but there is a lot you can do on your own to plan for your divorce and make decisions about the future of your family.

Books, articles and support groups provide information, resources and assistance in helping you manage your divorce and consider issues that you aren’t yet aware of, or need more information on. There are many good resources available by parenting experts, therapists and psychologists, financial planners, and divorce and mediation lawyers that can help you navigate your own divorce.

Note: Vacca Law receives no affiliate or referral fees;

Couples who are divorcing strive to make decisions in the best interest of the children. However, co-parenting after a divorce is challenging and parents are people too: sometimes they make bad decisions when it comes to their children which they later come to regret. You can avoid causing your child the anxiety and pain of parental alienation by avoiding these specific actions.

1. Do not speak negatively about the other parent or his or her family.

It’s likely that your list of grievances with your ex-spouse and ex-in-laws will be long and complicated, but your child does not need to know that.  This is true even if there was physical or emotional abuse in your relationship that the child witnessed first-hand. A therapist who understands child development can help you determine exactly how you should talk to your child about what he or she witnessed based on your family’s unique circumstances.

Nothing could be worse than a very public divorce – except for a very public custody battle. Every detail of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s courtship, marriage, childrearing and divorce have been chronicled in the newspapers, so sadly it is no surprise that their child custody dispute is now making headlines.

While the court documents are rightly closed to the public, the latest custody ruling appears to provide Pitt with increased time with his children and limits the amount of involvement Jolie can have with his interactions. According to published reports, “a judge in the couple’s ongoing divorce case said the six children not having a relationship with their father is harmful to them… it is critical that each of them have a healthy and strong relationship with their father and mother.”

The issue appears to be parental alienation, a common side-effect of an adversarial divorce. As I stated in a previous post, parental alienation may not always be intentional, but it always causes harm.

The idea behind paralysis by analysis is when a decision needs to be made, all the options are over-analyzed, and not one “works.” Everything that could happen, should have happened, or did happen is considered and weighed. Then, the paralysis sets in, and no action is taken.

Sometimes this concept can lead to marriages lasting beyond their healthy breakpoint; people are afraid to leave because what awaits on the other side is (understandably) unknown. But, this concept can also carry into the divorce process. For example, let’s say a decision to divorce has been made. When it’s time to analyze the options, the paralysis may begin:

  • “Should I try mediation?”
  • “Should we do the collaborative process?”
  • “Should I just find an attorney who will be my mouthpiece and negotiate on my behalf, and I will never have to see my husband again?”

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