“Divorce coaching is a flexible, goal-oriented process designed to support, motivate, and guide people going through divorce to help them make the best possible decisions for their future, based on their particular interests, needs, and concerns.”
– American Bar Association
As a Divorce Coach, I work as a thought partner with individuals and couples to support them in making the best decisions they can for their family as a whole. A common pitfall that people who are divorcing often make is finalizing important decisions under stress — when they are feeling emotional and reacting to something their partner has said or done, or has not said or done within a time frame that they wanted. Some primary emotions that throw people off kilter and interrupt their otherwise solid thinking include hurt, betrayal, anger, hostility, and fear. My task is to help ground people to think through the colossal decisions they must make during divorce. I do this in several ways, including using divorce education, visualization exercises, asking questions about people’s intentions and relationship history, and other techniques. I also help individuals and couples set goals for their divorce and create a step-by-step process to achieve them.
Some parents ask me if they need to use attorneys for their divorce. I help parents determine their preferences for hiring attorneys and how they want to employ attorneys. Some couples work with attorneys from the beginning of their divorce process, others don’t use attorneys at all, and still others bring attorneys in toward the end of their process. Each couple’s divorce is unique and there are no one-size-fits-all answers to any divorce questions.
Common questions divorcing parents ask include how to tell their partner they want a divorce, how and when they should tell their children they are divorcing, who should move out of the family home, why is it important for children to have overnights with each parent, and much more.
My clinical training enhances my coaching skillset because I am a professional communicator trained in teaching people how to discuss difficult and painful topics. This is exactly what I do when working with divorcing couples: I help them communicate effectively together during a difficult time. Additionally, as a clinician, I educate parents about their children’s developmental stages and needs during divorce. I can quickly assess when some couples would benefit from psychotherapy instead of or in addition to divorce coaching. I have a solid network of colleagues to refer clients to for legal, financial, and mental health help.
The couples I tend to work best with are those who are able, either through diligent work or with less effort, to put the best interests of their children and their future co-parenting relationship as their top priorities. When requested, I work with parents to create a tailored parenting plan which is their schedule for how the children will spend time with both parents after they separate. These parenting plans are sometimes a work in progress, with parents trying out one aspect of a schedule at a time to assess how it works for their child or children, and then revising it according to their child/children’s needs.
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