As someone going through the divorce process in 2012, I hadn’t ever heard of a divorce coach (In fact, it was my own open apology to my kids that was picked up by ScaryMommy that started it all). Ten years later I am now a certified divorce coach (and mediator). While the concept of working with divorce coaches has been steadily rising, there are still many people who don’t fully understand how they can help you through your divorce process. People ask, what does being a divorce coach mean and how can a divorce coach help me?
What does “divorce coach” mean?
I can only speak for myself and how I approach my client relationships. Having been divorced, I truly understand what it entails, how it can affect every aspect of your life, and how challenging it can be in so many ways. For me, it’s important to meet my clients wherever they are in their process and offer what they need. It’s certainly not the same for everyone. Some need a cheerleader, some a taskmaster, and others a sounding board. No divorce is like any other, but they all have overlapping themes and needs. Where a client falls on the spectrum of need for any one area is unique, which is why my approach is specific to each client, but what I do offer to all clients is a space of authenticity, experience, warmth, and honesty. I am always honest with my clients, but having been there myself, empathy and optimism are mainstays in how I handle those going through this difficult time.
How do I actually help clients?
The client will have the opportunity to share everything on their mental and physical to-do lists and together we will set priorities and get to work.
For those needing assistance to stay on task, I offer reasonable but firm goals to keep the client on track.
I supply my clients with notes from each session, so they are free to focus on our session and not worry about remembering anything later.
Together we thoroughly evaluate different custody schedules and parenting plans. I help clients figure out their desired custody scenario and assist in pinpointing several backup options that might be needed or useful in negotiations.
I offer detailed feedback (based on personal and professional experience) on the implementation of each scenario and how it will play out in reality.
I alert my clients to red flags, so they do not regret any agreed-upon custody schedule or stipulation.
I save clients money:
I assist in organization and preparation for the large decisions my clients will face.
My sessions are a fraction of a lawyer’s hourly rate. The more time my clients spend with me, the more prepared they are for meetings with legal counsel. The more prepared the client is for those meetings, the more efficient and cost-effective their sessions with legal counsel.
I walk through the decision-making process of choosing divorce. I help clients visualize how divorce will look and what it will feel like, so those still unsure know what they’re facing when they make the ultimate decision.
I advise clients on their options when it comes to housing. We explore the financial and emotional aspects of remaining in or leaving the marital home.
It’s tempting to throw in the towel in the midst of a divorce. I provide a safe haven to discuss feelings and reactions. Having me by your side can reduce fear and uncertainty and help you move through divorce with more confidence and less stress. I can also help you work through and manage relationships with family members and friends that have been affected by your divorce.
By the time someone calls me for a consult, they have either maxed out their friends’ ears or have realized they don’t have a safe space to talk and need guidance on how to approach their loved ones. I help clients discover and practice language they can use to talk to family, friends, and even their children.
Something to remember when it comes to working with and choosing a divorce coach – personality and fit matter, and you need to find the person who is the right fit for you. Some divorce coaches are more prescriptive (follow these 5 steps…), some are warmer and fuzzier, and some focus primarily on the process. Consult a few and see what feels right. At the end of the day, the people you bring in as part of your team should help you navigate the divorce process the way you want it to be.