Getting divorced is one of the most difficult, stressful, and life-changing events you will ever have to go through. Going through it alone, when you don’t truly understand how the system works, and you can’t think clearly because you’re an emotional wreck, is never your best choice.
That’s where a divorce coach comes in.
“Karen, I want to thank you for guiding me through the most horrific period of my life. I appreciate your advice, your professionalism, and your compassion. Thank you for taking the time to listen to me and treating me like a person, not just a client.”
What is a Divorce Coach?
A divorce coach is a specially trained divorce professional who helps you understand the divorce system so that you can navigate through your divorce with more confidence and clarity. A divorce coach acts as your guide, your sounding board, and your reality-check as you travel through your divorce.
Divorce coaching can help you get crystal clear about what you want and what you need, both in your marriage and in your life. That clarity starts with gaining the insight you need to confidently decide whether you want a divorce or not.
If you decide to work on your marriage, a divorce coach can help you get the resources you need to do that.
If you decide to divorce, your divorce coach can help you identify your goals and create a plan that will help you achieve those goals in the most efficient, cost-effective, and respectful way possible. A coach can also work with you as you go through your divorce so that you don’t have to manage everything alone.
What Does a Divorce Coach Do?
A divorce coach bridges the gap between the legal aspects of divorce and all the other aspects of divorce. (Although divorce lawyers don’t want you to know this, the vast majority of issues that you will have to deal with in your divorce are NOT LEGAL issues!)
A Divorce Coach is Different from a Divorce Lawyer or a Therapist
While many divorce coaches (like me) are also divorce lawyers or therapists, the role that each divorce professional plays in your divorce is very different! What’s more, no one person can fill more than one role in your divorce.
That means that no one can be BOTH your divorce lawyer and your coach. No one can be BOTH your therapist and your coach.
All three professions perform very different functions in your divorce.
- Focuses on your past so that you can figure out how you got to where you are now;
- Helps you understand and deal with your emotions;
- Helps you work through grief and loss;
- Teaches you how to build behaviors that will serve you better in your divorce and your life; and
- Helps you manage mental health issues, especially those like anxiety and depression which can arise during a divorce.
A divorce coach:
- Educates you about divorce and the divorce process;
- Focuses on your future and helps you create goals;
- Helps you create a workable plan for getting through your divorce and achieving your goals;
- Helps you get organized and gather the information you will need in your divorce.
- Assists you in identifying and managing the other divorce professionals you may need to get through your divorce more effectively and efficiently.
- Helps you manage your plan and holds you accountable for taking action;
- Helps you learn how to communicate with your spouse and create a workable co-parenting relationship;
- Aids you in creating a workable parenting plan; and
- Helps you create strategies for dealing with a difficult spouse/ex.
A divorce lawyer:
- Educates you about the law in your specific state;
- Advises you about how a judge might apply the law in your case;
- Helps you get complete financial information from your spouse;
- Represents you in court;
- Fights to ensure you get a good financial settlement;
- Negotiates the main terms of your divorce with your spouse’s lawyer; and
- Drafts all of your legal documents;
What Issues Can a Divorce Coach Help Me With?
Here are some of the specific divorce issues that a coach can help you navigate:
- How to decide whether you should get a divorce or not;
- How to prepare as much as you can before your divorce so that you do better during your divorce;
- Understanding the way the divorce system REALLY works so that you can manage it, instead of letting it manage you;
- How to decide which divorce process (i.e. divorce mediation, divorce litigation, collaborative divorce) will be best for you and your family;
- How to choose a divorce lawyer (AND how to manage the divorce lawyer you’ve chosen!);
- How to figure out which other professionals you will need in order to get through your divorce (… AND how to find and work with those professionals!);
- What you can do to save time and money in your divorce;
- How to prepare for divorce mediation;
- How to get ready for court appearances;
- Learning how to negotiate with your spouse;
- How to create a parenting schedule and a parenting plan that will work for your family;
- … and so much more!
Do You Need a Divorce Coach?
Not everyone needs a divorce coach. If your divorce is relatively simple and you already have a therapist and a lawyer, you may not need a divorce coach.
But if your divorce is complicated, or full of conflict, having a divorce coach can be a Godsend. The same is true if you’re not sure how you’re going to get through your divorce, or if you’re thinking of trying to navigate through your divorce without having a lawyer represent you.
What’s more, if you want to be proactive and take more control of your divorce (and your life!) a divorce coach can help you do that, too.
By helping you understand what steps you have to take to get through your divorce, your divorce coach can help you prepare for each step in advance. That way, you’ll encounter fewer surprises in your divorce. (HINT: Surprises in divorce are almost never good!)
How Can a Divorce Coach Help You?
A divorce coach can help you deal with your divorce, and deal with your divorce lawyer!
If you’re having problems communicating with your divorce lawyer, and you’re not sure what’s going on in your divorce, talking to a divorce coach can help clear the confusion. A divorce coach can educate you about what’s going on and can give you strategies that will help you communicate with your lawyer more effectively (or get a new one!).
A good divorce coach can also help you gather your financial information and put it together in a way that’s useful. If you need a financial education, your divorce coach can help you figure out the best way to get up to speed about your finances.
If you have kids, a divorce coach can help you focus so that you truly put your kids’ interests first during your divorce. A coach can also help you understand the parenting issues you will likely face in your divorce so that you can be better prepared to deal with those issues if and when they arise.
A divorce coach can also give you a heads up about what kinds of things you will (and won’t!) want in your Parenting Plan. S/he can help you create a Parenting Plan and a Parenting Schedule that are specifically tailored to meet your family’s needs moving forward.
Finally, a divorce can help you understand how the divorce process works, from start to finish. Armed with that knowledge, you will be in a better position to navigate through your divorce with more confidence and clarity.
Here’s What People Are Saying:
“Karen has been an incredible resource for me in the first few years of a high conflict co-parenting situation. She has helped me grow in setting boundaries and diffusing unnecessary conflict, while also helping me to understand how to own the power I have and how to make decisions that are right for me and my family. She is always encouraging and insightful, while also being just enough of an accountability for me to keep me moving forward, even through difficult steps. I know that I am far more confident and hopeful for my future having worked with Karen!”
How We Can Work Together
We’ll set up a quick talk. You can get a feel for my style, and I can figure out whether I can help you.
Then we start.
If that sounds too simple (or too scary!), just remember: Every journey begins with a single step.
Is it time for you to take that step so you can start moving forward?