Stressors often defining a divorce range from the legal and financial to real estate and even mental health. An already tumultuous process, focusing on such aspects can prove difficult—especially if the separation is contentious. You and your ex-partner may need assistance refocusing energy away from conflict and toward compromise. Surrounding yourself with a collaborative divorce team comprised of an attorney, financial specialist, child specialist, and divorce coach can be the solution.
One of the most noteworthy team members, the divorce coach, can help guide you through the divorce process so you don’t miss a single critical step.
The American Bar Association 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.” These professionals specialize in a variety of areas such as finance, mental health, or law. Each client will need to conduct diligent research, interviewing multiple coaches to ensure they meet their specific needs.
To become a divorce coach, many undergo training courses to become certified. For example, the training and certification organization CDC Certified Divorce Certification requires professionals to complete courses and practicums through its College for Divorce Coaching, apply to the CDC Board of Standards for certification, and have one year of practical work experience. During training, potential coaches will learn best practices and client program framework, which covers pre-divorce, during, and after. Typically, these coaches have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution as well. In addition to coaching, they may also be licensed mental health counselors, psychologists, family mediators, health care or social workers, or lawyers.
Due to their extensive backgrounds, divorce coaches are always ready to assist you in making decisions about your personal and professional future. They’ll also assist you through hard compromises, such as co-parenting. This professional can walk you through the entirety of the process, so you don’t miss a single step and achieve the most equitable outcome.
A divorce coach’s job doesn’t have to begin during the divorce process. Sometimes, it can start before a divorce, when you’re merely contemplating the possibility. A divorce coach can conduct a marriage assessment, which will help you decide whether you should work on your marriage, or separate. They can provide resources, assess counseling needs, and prepare you for divorce. During a divorce, the coach is there to help organize and compile personal and financial information, explain the process, answer any questions that arise, and provide a support system. They assist clients in using sound judgement, separating their emotions from productive communication. A divorce coach’s role doesn’t end after a divorce is finalized. You can ask them to stick around to help you set short- and long-term goals, devise a plan to reach them, and provide overall support.
Despite the incredible assistance divorce coaches provide, many may be wondering how much this service costs. When undergoing a divorce, clients often worry about lawyer fees, which they estimate to be expensive, so they don’t even think about hiring additional professionals. However, many couples use their lawyers as their therapist, divorce coach, and financial planner—leading to extensive billed hours at high costs. If you engage a divorce coach, you’ll likely spend less time at your lawyer’s office, reducing your legal fees, while streamlining your divorce process.