By Angie Hallier, Esq.
Your divorce will be a time of intense emotions, whether you’re the one that wanted the divorce or not. If you want the divorce, you may feel impatience, eagerness, or detachment. If you did not want the divorce, you are probably feeling sadness, shock, or betrayal. Whatever you are feeling, your emotions may cause your divorce to be much more expensive than it needs to be. You may make decisions that are not necessarily in your best interest, and you may emerge from your divorce without a clear vision of your future. Having a coach help you through the process of your divorce can be an invaluable asset.
Many people think of turning to a therapist during their time of divorce, but fewer people think about coaches. While therapists play a great and helpful role, and may be needed in a divorce, I have found that clients who engage a coach to help them fare much better as they move through their divorce. Therapists typically focus on why things are the way they are, why you are the way you are. They go back through your history and help you fix something that is not working. Coaches, on the other hand, are present and future focused. They will help you define values and goals, envision your dreams and create what you want for your life after divorce
While attorneys can certainly help you with your emotional transition as well, our assistance focuses on setting reasonable legal goals, answering the legal questions you need answered, reviewing likely outcomes to help you settle your case, and presenting your case to a judge if your case cannot be resolved out of court. Our services usually conclude once the divorce decree is signed by the judge and entered on the court record. It will be far more costly if we are the ones to help you monitor your emotions, organize your thoughts, and make decisions based upon a future that you may or may not yet have taken the time to envision.
Coaches can help you modulate your feelings so you see past the emotions in working on divorce issues with your attorney. This “action oriented” focus helps you navigate your divorce, make purposeful decisions during your divorce, and prepare a concrete plan for your after divorce life. When your divorce coach works in concert with you and your attorney, the process becomes even more seamless. Having a coach helps you focus on this one definitive life event—your divorce—and will help you transition through this process in a much more positive way, with the ultimate goal of reaching a conclusion to the legal matter that will support your future plan. Coaches can stay with you once your divorce is completed to integrate this change in your life.
Victoria Crawford, a certified professional coach (www.victoriacrawford.com (link is external)) and I have created a simple plan that enables clients to see what is needed both emotionally and legally for a successful divorce. We are both committed to empowering people to be excited about their life after divorce rather than resigned to it. In our upcoming blogs, Victoria and I will highlight each of the 5 key steps required to emotionally and legally navigate your divorce to a successful conclusion.
If you haven’t thought about having a divorce coach, please do. It is one of the best gifts you can give yourself during your divorce. Although divorce is the end of a marriage, it is not the end of your life. Our process will help you move forward to create and live your Next Best Life.