In some ways, divorce is like any other life challenge - It’s an experience you don’t want but one that must be handled the best way possible. In other ways, Divorce is like no other life challenge because it strikes at the core of the stability of your life. The marital security you thought you could count on is replaced with the reality of insecurity and for most, the biggest foe becomes your own mind. You can’t escape the internal voice - the thoughts and questions that run through your mind at all hours of the day and night:
“What will happen to me?” “How will I survive?” “What will happen to the kids?” “Should I leave the house?” “How will we tell the kids?” “Should we wait till the kids are adults?” “What will my parents say?” “Will we lose the house?” “Should I hire a lawyer?” “How will I find a good lawyer?” “What do I do?!” “I don’t want all of this, but I can’t go on like this anymore!”
Most turn to the internet for help and guidance, what I describe as the miss-information superhighway, and others turn to well-intentioned friends or family members who are not always the best source of reliable information and who may unintentionally add fuel to the fire.
It is exactly at this point when you may benefit from having a Divorce Coach.
What is a Divorce Coach?
A Divorce Coach is a professional who guides you through the divorce process. There are many important decisions you need to make, each one having the potential to change the trajectory of your divorce and without exaggeration, the rest of your life. A good divorce coach will help you:
- Decide, and
- Move forward.
Your divorce coach should have expertise in all issues related to divorce as well as the temperament to keep you calm as you make important decisions.
How do I know if I need one?
If you find yourself, confused, overwhelmed and unsure on how to proceed, you need a divorce coach. Important decisions need to be made at a time when most people are emotionally compromised.
Why hire a Divorce Coach as soon as possible?
A Divorce Coach can help you understand one of the first and most important decisions you need to make – whether to hire an attorney or not. There are many choices available for a divorce: do-it-yourself divorce, on-line document preparation, mediation, collaborative divorce, or representation by a lawyer. The process you choose will dramatically affect how the rest of your divorce goes.
A Divorce Coach will then guide you, through the legal process you have chosen. They will provide support and guidance as issues develop and continuous decisions need to be made. They will help you decide if, when, and how to fight, if at all. They will help you keep perspective on what matters in the long run, and how to get the expert advice on the different subjects (financial, parental, psychological, legal, etc.)
A Divorce Coach will help you build or strengthen skills to cope with your emotions, especially at meetings with professionals and your spouse. In addition, your Coach can help you develop self-care practices to help you feel more grounded and able to cope.
A Divorce Coach will help you plan your life post-divorce, as a single parent and perhaps going back to work. The Coach will help you set some goals and lay the foundation for accomplishing them. This vision helps you plan and may influence your divorce negotiations. For example, if you need re-training to enter the workforce, this can be discussed as part of your divorce settlement.
A Divorce Coach will help you develop skills for the negotiations. With the help of your Coach, you will be clear about what is important to you in the final resolution. Identifying what matters most and where you may compromise is one of the challenges of divorce.
In short, your Coach will help you understand and think through the many decisions you will be asked to make. You will feel confident and articulate in expressing what matters to you without being hijacked by emotions. This makes the process more efficient and cost-effective!
How do I find a Divorce Coach?
Divorce coaches are like any other professional – there is a wide range of quality to choose from and you must interview as many as you have time and patience for. In interviewing them, allow them to describe the process and how they will assist you. After you found at least two or three with whom you feel comfortable, then let your gut decide; it will know who can help you with the difficult decisions that you need to make and who may unwittingly aggravate the situation.
With the help of a Divorce Coach, you will remain knowledgeable and in control, and with knowledge and control comes the confidence to make the right decision as you proceed with this most difficult and important financial, emotional, and personal time of your life.