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
- not trigger your spouse
- make unemotional finance assessments
- objectively explore options and alternatives
A divorce coach has skills in communication, mediation and counseling. They can help you attain a new perspective and think beyond the traditional definitions and stereotypes about divorce.
Here at the top 5 reasons why I recommend coaching for my clients:
A divorce coach can be an invaluable asset, says Psychology Today. Coaches “are present and future-focused. They will help you define values and goals, envision your dreams and create what you want for your life after divorce.” There are significant benefits to add a divorce coach to your alternative divorce team.
1. Save You Money
Divorce coaches help you with non-legal decisions in a collaborative divorce that don’t require the services of a divorce lawyer. Typically, the hourly rate of a collaborative divorce coach is significantly lower than the rate of a divorce lawyer. A divorce coach can help you overcome the emotional challenges as well as the practical ones, and by doing so, they help you save money and time, explains certified professional coach Liza Caldwell.
2. Set Reasonable Goals
This is most likely your first divorce. You are angry and hurt. Well-meaning friends and families are giving you advice. The Divorcierge, Karen Bigman, says a coach can help you set realistic divorce goals. “By educating yourself about the options available and finding the right resources you can help ease the stress and reduce the amount of time, money and emotional energy you invest in the process.”
3. Help You Communicate
Divorce is one of the most stressful periods of your life. When you’re under stress, under financial pressure or feeling scared or trapped, it can be difficult for you to communicate effectively – or to communicate at all. A divorce coach can help you express your goals and feelings to your spouse, your attorney, your family and your friends. Lauren Behrman, Ph.D., explains, “Having a professional to facilitate difficult conversations and teach parents conflict resolution, problem-solving and communication skills strengthens the parenting team as they transition to the new family constellation.”
4. Speed Up The Process
Any divorce – collaborative or adversarial – can face roadblocks that prevent the process from moving forward. A divorce coach has the experience and skills to spot and prevent obstacles that can unnecessarily slow down your divorce. Poor communication, financial disagreements and anger are typical roadblocks that a divorce coach can help you navigate.
5. Paperwork Organization, Completion and Deadlines
A divorce coach can help you manage the paperwork that is generated by the divorce process. Divorcing people can get overwhelmed by the amount and variety of documents that need to be completed and submitted: financial forms, taxes, custody agreements, property sales and purchases – the paperwork mound can be endless. “The decisions you are going to be forced to make during your divorce have real and long-lasting repercussions, so you really can’t afford to screw them up,” says divorce coach Karen McMahon.
How to Find a Divorce Coach
Working with a divorce attorney and divorce coach as part of your team can help you achieve the best results for an emotionally and legally successful divorce. There are many experienced, qualifed, trained divorce coaches available. Ask your divorce attorney for referrals, or search online for a ‘certified divorce coach’ or ‘collaborative divorce coach’ in your area.
Divorce is not easy. Family and friends, TV programs and the movies, newspaper and magazine headlines all can give you worst-case scenarios of how not to navigate your divorce. By choosing the right team of professionals to support and guide you through your divorce, you are taking proactive steps toward a successful divorce and happy life for you and your spouse after divorce.
Contact us for more information about a divorce team to help you take charge of your own divorce.