Divorce Coaching – A Benefit for Attorneys

Divorce coaching is a joint effort between the client, their attorney, and the divorce coach to minimize the stressful adjustment and reorganization of the family. No matter how amicable a couple may be, going through a divorce is a very complex and deeply emotional experience. Research indicates going through a divorce is the second most stressful event in a persons life, second only to the death of an immediate family member. In a divorce, grief issues such as denial, anger, bargaining, and depression are usually involved. There is always a sense of loss and failure, and many times a lot of confusion as well. Reorganizing a family from a single home into two homes is extremely stressful. Post divorce issues such as co-parenting, child support, and spousal support are always hot topics, as are individual parenting styles. As a divorce coach, I have specialized training, education, and experience to work with just these type of situations, this frees up the attorney to concentrate on what they do best – deal with the issues of law.

A person who decides to involve a divorce coach is a person who would not typically enter into traditional therapy. However, during a divorce, the adversarial process produces a stress and raises critical emotional issues which are unique to those going through it. Here is where divorce coaching becomes critical. As a divorce coach, I join with the client and their attorney and together we identify the “hot” buttons. I assist the client by giving them invaluable tools to cope with the divorce emotional issues which are unique to them. I assist the attorney by teaching the client how to be a proactive team member, rather than reactive negative influence. I educate the client on the benefits of concentrating on the positive (constructive), rather than dwelling on the negative (destructive). The educational component of divorce coaching produces a client who is a clear-thinking and engaged in the process. Clients who are engaged in the process and see themselves as part of a team effort are much more likely to pay their attorney bills, and pay them on time.

A trained, experienced, and skilled divorce coach will greatly benefit both the client and the attorney by providing the emotional guidance throughout the process. By helping in this way, the client can move forward to tackle the legal issues with confidence and assuredness. Blaming, shaming, finger-pointing, and all other negative and destructive actions are minimized, allowing both the client and attorney to concentrate on the proactive, positive, and constructive parts of their work together. This allows for the ultimate in client control for the attorney–a client who is positive, forward-looking, proactive, and solution orientated.

The following are some of the areas the client and I will work on together:
- Identify and prioritize concerns about their restructuring family.
- Present effective conflict resolutions.
- Assist in learning to communicate in a non-reactive manner.
- Work to lower anxiety and to identify areas of stress and conflict.
- Assist in expanding the options and charting pro-active steps for the future.
- Aid in developing effective co-parenting skills.
- Learn enhanced communication skills to reduce misunderstandings.
- Assist in seeing the bigger picture of what is happening.

A family law attorneys’ purpose is to protect the client legally throughout the adversarial divorce process. However, they are not trained, educated, nor have experience in dealing with the emotional and psychological issues of divorce – therefore the need of a skilled and experienced divorce coach.

With the clients’ future (and the future relationship with their children) on the line, their financial security threatened, and their mental capacities stretched to the limits, the decisions they make during this time will have critical consequences. Unfortunately, many of these decisions will be made in a very short period of time and will be made under the most stressful of conditions, mentally, emotionally, financially, and physically. It makes sense to reach out at this time and give the client as many tools as possible to get through this process. The immediate affect of using these tools will be to alleviate the clients’ stress now, with the added benefit of helping reduce their stress in the future as well. This may also reduce the number of hours an attorney spends in “babysitting” their client over issues and concerns that a divorce coach is trained and skilled to deal with, thereby freeing the attorney to concentrate on the legal issues.

When facing a divorce, the client needs the tools, the information, to put themselves in a more confident position. The more confident their position, the more the attorney will be able to directly assist them – with the added benefit of keeping the normal divorce “drama” to a minimum. The most powerful way for the client to gain confidence is through the use of a skilled and experienced divorce coach.

A divorce coach can change the clients’ life from reactive, confused and stressed, to pro-active, confident, and affirmed. Engaging the services of a skilled and experienced divorce coach can be a win-win proposition.