Written By Kara Francis
What is a divorce coach, and do you need one on your team of divorce professionals?
A divorce coach can help you define the personal goals you want to achieve in your divorce (and/or life generally), and we then work together to create action plans to achieve those goals.
Divorce coaching is a goal oriented process designed to help you make important decisions and move you forward into the future. Whether your case is in litigation, mediation or a collaborative divorce, this type of divorce support can be instrumental in getting you to the other side.
The goals we can work on together are endless: making the decision to get divorced, how to ask for a divorce, emotional issues surrounding your divorce negotiations, parenting plan and/or divorce settlement, moving forward and rebuilding your life after the divorce papers are finalized, communication skills with a co parent (during and post divorce), and more!
I am an objective, non-judgmental sounding board who helps you THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX to find solutions to move forward. Divorce coaches also assist clients by holding them accountable for the goals and action plans they create.
Along the way, I ask you empowering and powerful questions to help you gain insight into who you really are, what you really want, why your goals are important to you, and what’s blocking you from reaching your goals.
Many people are capable of gathering the necessary information to create an action plan, but if the emotional blocks are not processed, most people are not able to show up as their most confident self to successfully implement the plan. That’s where coaching comes in – turning inward and vocalizing what you actually THINK, how you actually FEEL, and unpacking WHAT’S GETTING IN THE WAY, allows you to move forward feeling confident and powerful.
No matter what stage of the divorce process you are in, you deserve to feel SEEN and HEARD during this difficult time. I provide you a safe space to fully process your emotions. And with my training and skills, I know how to really LISTEN to what you are saying.
This is a completely different type of conversation than with friends or family, who are usually biased in your favor and try to “fix” your “problems” with their own tips or advice. In coaching, YOU are the expert of your life. I guide people through a process that focuses on solutions (not problems), and I empower you to find the best possible decisions within yourself.
Many divorce coaches have a psychological background. However, as a former divorce lawyer AND divorce survivor, I bring a unique set of skills to the table: I am intimately familiar with the family law landscape and how the legal process works, as well as the emotional toll that divorce can take on you personally. I have both personal and professional experience with divorce, so I can truly empathize with the difficult times you are going through.
While divorce coaches work on many goals with their clients, it’s also important to understand what a divorce coach is NOT:
Therapy: The focus of therapy is healing and recovering from events and trauma in your past (such as physical/emotional abuse, substance abuse). While coaching also gets into your past, we don’t stay there; we go from past, to present, to future. Another important difference is that therapy takes the client from dysfunctional to functional (e.g., coping with a mental illness), while coaching takes the client from functional to optimal.
Legal advice: In divorce coaching, we work on the emotional and self-awareness aspects of divorce. The legal aspects are addressed by divorce lawyers. But as a former divorce lawyer myself, I understand the legal system and events occurring in your case, which helps us work together more efficiently. And processing your emotions with a trained divorce coach instead of calling up your attorney is more cost effective and will save time, because it frees up your attorney’s time to focus purely on the legal side.
Mentoring and/or Consulting: While I have plenty of experience with the divorce world, coaching is not about my experience or what I would recommend if I were going through divorce. Again, you are the expert of your own life. While we sometimes brainstorm together, at the end of the day, YOU decide how to move forward. Trust me, you have all the answers inside of you already – I’m just there to help you pull them out!
One thing to keep in mind: Depending on your particular interests and needs, you may need a lawyer, a coach, a therapist, a parenting coordinator (especially in high conflict cases), and a consultant (to analyze all the financial information and provide recommendations). After all, divorce impacts all aspects of your life – why not surround yourself with a team of other professionals who are dedicated to your best interests and will help you make the best decisions for you?
In sum, if you are looking for emotional support, raising your self-awareness, goal-setting strategies and accountability in your divorce, you may need a divorce coach. Taking care of your emotional health is a form of self-care and could make all the difference in your case.