Major life transitions impact people in different ways emotionally. If we look at the top 10 Most Stressful Life events, divorce ranks second after the death of a loved one (spouse, partner, child).
A divorce coach is a licensed mental health professional who helps individuals navigate emotional challenges experienced during the divorce process so you can come out on the other side of the divorce without acrimony or animosity. You can move forward in this new phase of your life in a positive way. If there are children, you learn how to successfully co-parent and provide a good post-divorce environment for your children.
The Initial Role of a Divorce Coach
When you first consult a divorce coach, there are some main things that are helpful for the coach to discover, such as:
- What brought you to the point of thinking about or planning a divorce?
- What brought you and your spouse together initially that led to your marriage?
- What have you and your spouse done to try to make the marriage work?
- Have you had marriage counseling. If not, is that something you and your spouse might consider looking into?
- Are there minor children? If so, do the children know about the divorce? How are they reacting to this news? If the children don’t know, what are the plans for telling them about it? Have you considered the impact your divorce will have on them? It is not healthy for children to live in an unhappy home.
If you and your spouse have done everything you can do to save the marriage, and you are confident divorce is the right thing for you to do, a divorce coach will help you through the process.
Possible Recommendations of a Divorce Coach
A divorce coach, during the initial meeting, may recommend:
- Attending a Divorce Options Workshop. This explains the different types of divorce processes, including traditional litigation, mediation, and collaborative divorce.
- Learning through the Divorce Options Workshop that divorce does not have to be a litigious process that fosters animosity. Through mediation or the collaborative process, you can learn to work with your spouse in an amicable way and make decisions together about each of your lives going forward.
- Consulting with a family law attorney to determine what your rights are and getting more information about how the divorce will impact your financial situation.
- Helping you to develop a support system of friends and family to help you through this time. Do not use your children, minor or adult, for your support. Keep them out of the middle and never make them feel like they have to take sides.
For more information about divorce coaches and how you can benefit by working with a divorce coach, contact Betsey Williams, M.S., LMFT.