Is there such a thing as an amicable divorce? A peaceful separation – it’s almost like an oxymoron. Divorce is like an earthquake. It’s one enormous seismic shockwave and then a ripple of lingering aftershocks that dissipate over time. These shockwaves don’t only affect the external and material aspects of our environment; they extend into our internal and emotional world. We’re talking about subconscious feelings here. No matter how friendly your situation with your ex may be, divorce is an intense process that can become cluttered with emotions. Whether big or small, your feelings towards your divorce are like tremors that can shake the situation and potentially impede the process, if not adequately addressed.
Yet, when going through a divorce, most people neglect the role their emotions play. There’s no time to think about how you feel when you’re racing to find a divorce lawyer, and that’s precisely where the issue lies. It seems silly to pause for a moment instead of jumping straight into the process. We get it. You want the divorce to be settled as soon as possible. But it’s vital to set up a game plan before you get lawyer crazy. The one way to do that is by approaching divorce with a strong frame of mind. This is where the divorce coach comes in.
Before you dismiss a divorce coach into the realm of pseudo-science, think about how nice it would be to have a professional guide for every challenging event. Essentially a divorce coach is just that. They are your divorce sherpa guiding you up the Everest of the end of your marriage. Not every divorce is a treacherous climb, but each one is uniquely different. Having a divorce coach can help you sort out the mess and ascend to a triumphant divorce.
Why would anyone need a divorce coach?
When you decide to get a divorce, there’s a choir of voices chanting “lawyer up, lawyer up!” It’s only fair that you succumb, and dive head first into the lawyer abyss. But in actuality, that’s the worst thing you can do.
In the early stages of divorce you are in a heightened emotional state and you’re bound to make some questionable decisions based on the turmoil that you’re in, right? When you’re getting divorced, you’re making the biggest legal and financial decisions of your entire life in the middle of the biggest emotional upheaval of your entire life, and it’s a terrible combination. The first thing you should do is hire a certified professional who can help declutter your mindset and guide you in developing a divorce process that’s in your best interest.
What people don’t realize is that when you lawyer up, you are instantly creating an environment of discord. This is now your lawyer versus my lawyer, as opposed to two individuals saying, what’s the best way to do this and what’s in the best interest of our children (if you have any)? The litigation system is designed to put children in the middle, and working with a divorce coach can help you keep them from being pulled in different directions or having to choose between parents. A divorce coach can help you become aware of your emotions, get you out of your mindset of resentment and guilt, and help you form a more neutral standpoint from which to approach your divorce.
What role does a divorce coach play in helping you get a lawyer?
A divorce coach can help you decide if you need to file online, get an attorney or a mediator, or if you want to go through collaborative divorce. Figuring out which path is best suited for you early on can save you both a lot of time and money. A divorce coach acts as an unbiased guide who, based on their professional experience, can develop a course of action that addresses their clients’ individual needs.
What does a divorce coach do and how can they help me?
The truth is, if you’re going through divorce for the first time, you really just don’t know what you don’t know. You may think you do, based on friends or family members that have been divorced, but their situation is not exactly the same as yours. And so many people run and hire a lawyer, and then pay their lawyer hundreds of dollars an hour to ask questions you could already have answers for through a divorce coach.
Divorce coaches help to inform you on your divorce. It’s an educational process that helps you to build insight on your unique situation. Indeed, the first step in the coaching process is education. Essentially, what a coach does is break down the discernment process of ‘is it him or is it me?’ and shifts the focus onto us. It’s all about looking inward and thinking about our own values. By working on our internal processes, a divorce coach can help to dissolve the judgement out of the situation. A coach will do internal inner-critic work, examining family history and recurring trauma. We all inherit a relationship blueprint, and we have to work to understand it. It can create a lot of clarity into why your marriage didn’t work and how to divorce on as good terms as is possible.
In addition to the personal, it’s important to shift the view outward. A good divorce coach will work socio-cultural impacts, and examine patriarchal influences that sway a woman’s expectations. Is that just a function of what it’s like to be married in the 21st century? Or is it a function of a toxic spouse? Then there is the more interpersonal stuff around communication styles, attachment styles, and what a healthy relationship is even supposed to look or feel like?
And most importantly, a good divorce coach can help guide you to the right kind of lawyer, one that will get you through the process in the way that you want. If you and your soon-t-o-be-ex are on the same page about working together to hash out the divorce agreement, or both open to mediation, then you don’t want to hire a lawyer who specializes in fighting through litigation. And something to keep in mind: depending on what state you live in, even if you hire a lawyer you love, if you decide to mediate, you may not be permitted to even use that lawyer anymore! Having a dependable, objective supporter like a divorce coach can actually get you through the process in a way that allows you to feel more control over what’s going on. And that’s the first step towards having a happy divorce.