Written by: Kara Francis, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
If you are ending your marriage, do you need a divorce coach? No matter what stage of the process you may find yourself, having a divorce coach to provide support can have tremendous benefits. In this article, I break down 5 ways a certified divorce coach can help you during this life-changing event.
1. Divorce coaches provide emotional support
One of the most beneficial reasons to hire a divorce coach is the emotional support you will receive.
The legal process can be draining, frustrating, and overwhelming. You, your children, and your family are also going through a huge life transition, which causes even more stress, conflict, and fear. And if you find yourself in a high conflict divorce, the emotions are even more heightened.
All of these emotions can negatively impact how you show up in the case, from divorce negotiations with your spouse about a parenting plan, to making important financial decisions for your future, to communicating with your co-parent about your children.
As a divorce coach, I am trained to help clients on the emotional side of divorce. During our sessions, I provide you with a safe space and my complete, undivided attention to your emotional needs. This helps you release negative energy and feel more confident and empowered to make important decisions for the legal aspect of your case. A divorce coach can truly make all the difference.
And as a former divorce lawyer and divorce survivor myself, I am very familiar with the legal landscape and the various stages of the process, from both a professional and personal perspective.
Your lawyer, financial planners, and other professionals in your case do not have the bandwidth to help you on the emotional side.
I can attest to that as a former divorce attorney: I worked on multiple family law cases at once, and I was dealing with multiple tasks and demands on my time from different people every single day. My attention was being pulled in multiple directions.
Simply put, your attorney and coach serve very different purposes and provide very different (but equally important) value to you in your divorce. Use them appropriately and to your advantage!
2. Saving money and time in your divorce
Even if your attorney can carve out time in their busy schedule for an extended phone call or meeting with you, they are not trained to help you manage your emotions. Your attorney is (rightfully) in problem-solving mode and is trained to evaluate strategies and options in the legal system.
When I was practicing as an attorney, despite my best efforts, I often felt helpless to serve my clients when they came to me with emotional or relationship issues. I was trained to evaluate facts and decide the next steps based on logic; however, emotions often defy logic.
If you repeatedly turn to your attorney for these kinds of issues, you may find yourself walking away feeling frustrated and dissatisfied, especially when you receive your next bill for all the time they spent speaking with you.
Working with a divorce coach can help you save time and money because divorce coaches focus on the emotional side of the case, and the rates of most coaches are usually lower than (or at least comparable to) the rates of the attorney.
Let your attorney handle the legal conflict and divorce papers, and hire a divorce coach to help you handle the emotions.
3. Goal-Setting and Action-Planning
In addition to emotional support, divorce coaches work with you on goal-setting and action-planning strategies for your divorce.
This is your life and your divorce; only you can decide what works best for the "new you" and your family. Divorce coaching helps bring all of that to the surface during this difficult time.
A divorce coach helps you stay focused on solutions, forward-thinking, and staying positive, which balances out the negative, hostile, defeating energy you often see on the legal side.
A divorce coach is like your thinking partner ‒ the coach asks you empowering, thought-provoking questions that help you examine who you really are, what you really want in the divorce process and your new life, and what's getting in your way, so you can keep moving forward to the future.
The types of goals that clients can work on with a divorce coach are truly endless:
Develop coping skills to address feelings of guilt or shame about ending your marriage
Improve your communication skills and co-parenting relationship with your spouse
Brainstorm ways to help your children transition to the new schedule in your parenting plan
Come up with a plan to hire a financial expert, mortgage broker, real estate agent, accountant, or other professionals
Work on self-care techniques to manage stress
Brainstorm skills and tactics to reduce conflict and ensure a more amicable divorce for you, your spouse, and your children
Research and select professionals for your collaborative divorce team
If you are moving to a new home, create a plan for packing, donations, junk haul-away, and storage.
As you can see, the list of goals you can work on with divorce coaches goes on and on!
4. Preserve relationships with your loved ones
Most people turn to their parents, family, and friends for support in the divorce process. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. After all, these people know you best and are an amazing source of love and support.
However, because these people care about you very much, this means they are not 100% objective. They love you and want to ease your pain, so they may shy away from asking you challenging questions and/or struggle with holding you accountable for your goals.
Further, your family and friends have not been trained in the specialized skills of divorce coaching. A regular conversation is VERY different from a coaching conversation, and there's a reason for it.
Last (but certainly not least), if you heavily rely on your loved ones for support in your divorce, this could ultimately damage your relationship with them. They may become overly invested in the outcome and get hurt or disappointed by your decisions.
Or, if the relationship becomes too one-sided (i.e., they are always giving you support and you are always taking it, but not vice versa), this could lead to feelings of resentment.
A divorce coach provides a purely objective, non-judgmental space and is trained to help you process your emotions and find solutions to help you move forward. As a divorce coach, I am not impacted by bias or invested in any particular outcome, because I am not personally involved in your life.
My only interest as your divorce coach is to help you make conscious choices that are aligned with who you really are and what you really want.
In sum, working through your emotions with a divorce coach protects your relationships with your friends and family, which are critical during this period of your life.
5. Take back control over your divorce process
As someone who has been divorced herself, I understand the importance of taking back control of your divorce wherever you can.
Divorce turns your world upside down, and many aspects are simply beyond your control. The lack of control can lead to feelings of hopelessness, lack of motivation/energy, and overall powerlessness.
Divorce coaches help you focus on the aspects of your case that you CAN control in your divorce:
Your self-care (mental, emotional, and physical)
Reviewing and completing forms and assignments (like motions, discovery, and your parenting plan)
Creating your divorce team
Setting up your new home
How you show up and how you treat others
How you respond to the actions and decisions of your spouse
Focusing on what you CAN control in your divorce helps you feel more confident and empowered to keep moving forward.
Getting started with divorce coaching
A divorce coach is a great addition to your divorce team. From helping you process emotions, to saving you time and money, to keeping you focused on your goals, there are many benefits of divorce coaches. If you are interested in getting started, feel free to contact me for a free intro call, so we can learn more about each other and see if divorce coaching might be a good fit for you.
Kara Francis, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Kara is a former divorce attorney turned divorce coach. She also went through her own divorce, so she has seen divorce from all angles. As a coach, Kara guides her clients through a goal oriented process designed to help them unpack their emotions and take ownership of their divorce and future. Kara's mission: Ensuring that her clients feel seen, heard and empowered through all stages of the divorce journey.