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What Role do Divorce Coaches Play During the Divorce Process?

By Tonda R. Bian

The American Bar Association (ABA) defines divorce coaching as “a flexible, goal-oriented process designed to support, motivate, and guide people going through divorce to help them make the best possible decisions for their future, based on their particular interests, needs, and concerns”. What Role do Divorce Coaches Play During the Divorce Process? Divorce coaches can help a person going through pre-divorce, divorce and post-divorce issues depending on their personal situation and needs and can assist them to avoid procrastination and other roadblocks in order to move forward in the best way possible. Attorneys opt to work with divorce coaches because we do the non-legal work that attorneys and their staffs generally don’t do or don’t have the time to do. Attorneys increasingly recognize how coaches can benefit their clients in areas from emotion and communication to organization issues and helping them get through and beyond divorce successfully. The beauty of divorce coaches and our services is that clients can choose the issues they want and need help with which can include a number of issues inherent in pre-divorce, divorce and/or post-divorce stages. Divorce Coaches acts as an independent 3rd party providing guidance, motivation and encouragement. Pre-Divorce Divorce Coaches Helps with:

  • A marriage assessment—The decision to work on the marriage, separate or divorce

  • Reading materials and resources

  • Assessing counseling needs including those of parent(s) and children.

  • Preparing for the journey that is divorce

During Divorce Divorce Coaches Help with:

  • A client gathering and organizing personal and financial information which means compiling all necessary information in one place for use by counsel and other advisors.

  • Clients understanding the different types of divorce when divorce is imminent. Questions asked including whether both parties are in agreement or not with the type of divorce they want which range from simple to more complex. (Negotiated divorce is the simplest and least expensive. Collaborative divorce, mediation, and arbitration are more complex and expensive while litigation, which takes place in court, can take the longest and is usually the most expensive.)

  • The client building a personal support system.

  • Clients working through the personal and financial needs and concerns for the parent and children

  • Client clarifying thoughts and concerns encouraging sound decision making

  • The client separating emotions from the business of divorce and works with the client to think and communicate rationally during the process rather than emotionally

  • The client setting reasonable and fair goals for the divorce settlement encouraging cooperation

  • Selecting a team of professionals which can include (depending on the client’s needs) an attorney or other legal representation, business advisors such as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) who specializes in divorce finances and psychologists/counselors or pastoral support.

After Divorce Divorce Coaches Help with:

  • Clients establishing a vision for the future setting both short- and long-term goals and a plan to reach them

  • A divorce coach can also serve as the voice of experience since most have been through the divorce process themselves and can share both the positives and negatives of their own experience.

As a relationship and divorce coach working with clients around the country, it is rewarding to experience the synergy with the coach-client relationship and the coach-client-attorney relationship with other professionals added into the mix as needed. Working as a team always helps the client know that their best interest is the focus and that they are not going through the process alone.

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