“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.”
Getting divorced is one of the most difficult, stressful, and life-changing events you will ever have to go through. For most people, just thinking about divorce is stressful!
You have no idea what will happen in the future. You have no idea if you’ll be okay. All you know is that life as you know it is about to change forever.
To complicate matters, you probably have no idea how the divorce process really works. You know it’s expensive, but you’d like to try to get through it without losing everything you own. (AND you want to make sure you don’t get taken to the cleaners in the process!)
If it’s possible, you’d also like to try to end things amicably … although you’re not sure if that’s possible.
That’s where a divorce coach comes in.
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 divorce and afterward. A coach can help give you the insight and strategies that will help you figure out whether you should work on your marriage or move toward divorce.
If you do decide to divorce, your divorce coach can help you get organized and ready so that you save time and money in your divorce. A coach can also give you tips to help you handle the parenting issues that may arise between you and your spouse. Your coach can also help you identify and manage the other divorce professionals you may need to get through your divorce more effectively and efficiently.
A divorce coach is different from a therapist.
A therapist helps you look at your past so that you can figure out how you got to where you’re at now. S/he will help you understand your emotions and build better behaviors. A therapist can also help you manage any mental health issues that may arise during your divorce like anxiety and depression.
A divorce coach focuses on your future, and helps you create goals. S/he then helps you create a workable plan for getting through your divorce and achieving your goals. A divorce coach will also help you learn how you can communicate with your spouse both during and after your divorce so that you can have a workable co-parenting relationship once your divorce is done.
A divorce coach is also different from a lawyer.
A divorce lawyer gives you legal advice. S/he will tell you what the divorce law is in your state, and how that law will probably apply in your divorce. S/he can also tell you about the divorce judges in your area, and what they would likely do in your case.
If you have a good divorce lawyer, s/he will also help educate you about your legal rights and responsibilities. S/he will work to make sure you get complete financial information from your spouse. S/he will negotiate the main terms of your divorce for you. Then, your divorce attorney will draft your legal documents and represent you in court.
A divorce coach can’t give you legal advice. Even if, like me, your divorce coach also happens to be a lawyer, s/he can’t draft documents for you or negotiate with your spouse. On the other hand, a divorce coach can help you do a lot of things that your lawyer either can’t or won’t do.
For example, a good divorce coach will help you understand all of the steps involved in getting a divorce. S/he will also help you develop a plan for how you can get through each step of your divorce without getting overwhelmed. Then s/he will walk with you as you go through those steps so that you’re not going through your divorce alone.
While divorce lawyers probably could explain to you how divorce works, most of them don’t. Their only job is to deal with the law. (And, at $500 per hour, you probably wouldn’t want to pay them to explain the law to you. That would be a very expensive education!)
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!)
Divorce coaches help you handle those “other issues.” So, a divorce coach:
- Educates you about the divorce process and what you will need to do to get through it as effectively as possible;
- Helps you get organized so that you can take control of your own divorce and spend less money on your divorce attorney;
- Works with you to help figure out your goals and then create a plan for achieving them;
- Teaches you communication skills that you can use both during and after your divorce to co-parent successfully with your ex; and
- Empowers you to get through your divorce in the healthiest way possible so that you are ready to start your new life well once your divorce is over.
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. S/he can help you manage your own emotions so that you can deal with your spouse (and his/her lawyer!) more effectively.
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.
How Can a Divorce Coach Help You?
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.
“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, just remember: Every journey begins with a single step.
Is it time for you to take that step so you can start moving forward?