A Divorce Coach can be invaluable to a spouse embarking on a separation and divorce. Divorce usually has three elements: Legal, Financial, and Emotional/Communications. Frequently, it is the emotions that lead to a divorce and that can interfere with reaching a settlement. A settlement is most likely to be reached if each spouse feels their needs are being addressed. Divorce Coaches can work with the spouses to communicate their concerns, interests and goals to each other and their attorneys. A Divorce Coach helps prepare a client for meetings where issues relating to the divorce are going to be discussed and negotiated. When a client uses a Divorce Coach to address feelings and communications, the work between the client and their attorney can be more efficient and productive (and less costly). The lawyer can focus on explanation of the law, options for resolution, evaluation and negotiation.
For those parents with children, it is in everyone’s best interest to manage the parents’ emotions and maximize communications throughout the divorce process. Studies show that the children whose parents work through their emotions, and minimize their children’s exposure to conflict between parents, adjust more readily to the divorce and have less trauma in the long term.
In addition, Divorce Coaches can work with the parents regarding how to talk with their children about the separation and divorce. Every family is different. A Divorce Coach can incorporate what they learn about the children in the particular family and add it to what they already know about age appropriate communications. The Divorce Coach can advise what information is suitable to convey and when and how to best convey it.
A Divorce Coach can help a spouse convey information that might be difficult for the other spouse to hear or understand. A Coach can help identify patterns of communication that did not work well in the marriage and develop new and better ways of communicating toward a settlement and in co-parenting through the separation and even post-divorce.
A Divorce Coach can work with the parents to identify their values and priorities as parents and assist the parents in reaching their own agreement regarding the details of a parenting plan to include what time the children spend with each parent (regular weekdays and weekends, holidays, summer, and special occasions). The plan might also address other matters relating to parenting such as, what information is to be shared with the other parent (and how and when), how decisions will be made regarding the children, what happens in the event of an emergency, third party care, extracurricular activities, family celebrations, and other important aspects relating to the parents and their children.
A Divorce Coach is not doing therapy but focusing on helping the parents communicate better, reaching a settlement, and implement their parenting plan.
A Divorce Coach can also work with a Mediator or other Collaborative Divorce Professionals as a team while assisting the parties through their separation and divorce. Divorce Coaches have training regarding family systems and communication, and grief and loss associated with divorce. They are experienced in working on the Emotional/Communication aspects of divorce and parenting. Such training enables them to work with spouses who are transitioning through a separation and faced with the challenge of making decisions regarding the parameters of a settlement and plan for moving forward with their lives.