Getting divorced is highly emotional and often extremely overwhelming. I bet that your client did not say to themself on their wedding day, “I’m going to start getting everything organized and emotionally prepare for my future divorce.” It is often during this time of heightened emotional stress that they are trying to get all their necessary documentation ready, as well as wade through the muddied waters of their feelings.
This can leave clients feeling scared to make decisions and uncertain about their future. To say it’s an emotional rollercoaster is an understatement.
Going from “we” to “me” can also feel very lonely and can even cripple your client with fear. Many question whether they can manage everything on their own. Questions like, “What does my future look like?” and “Why is my ex acting this way?” are common and need to be dealt with as your clients go through their divorce process. Those kinds of questions are difficult for financial professionals to answer but right in the bailiwick of divorce coaches.
What is a Divorce Coach?
A divorce coach is the non-biased partner on this journey. He or she can help your clients identify their values and specific, achievable goals to move forward in a positive direction. Your clients owe it to themselves to put the building blocks in place to secure stability in their future, including their financial future.
A divorce coach can also teach your clients how to use tools that will help them achieve desirable results throughout their divorce and teach them how to work effectively with their ex on issues such as co-parenting and productive communication.
In addition, a divorce coach can help your client uncover what is actually keeping them stuck when they hit roadblocks. And a divorce coach can also partner with your client to help them develop action plans to move forward in a positive manner.
As a neutral party, a divorce coach can also help clients redirect their thinking and stay grounded without letting negative feelings cloud their judgment. Clients saddled with overwhelming feelings of anger and betrayal often have poor judgment.
Revenge Can Backfire
I’ve worked with several clients who started off more focused on revenge than options that might lead to a resolution. We were able to work though the emotions outside of the negotiation meetings, which allowed them to approach the negotiation process with a more open mind to multiple options.
I have also seen poor judgment play out when clients are overwhelmed with fear of their ex. When the power differential is evident and the client feels afraid to enter into financial negotiations with their ex, they are often willing to accept a bad deal to keep the peace and stay safe. Coaching helps walk clients through this process and helps them understand that they are not alone and they have people who will stand with them to assure the outcome won’t devastate their future.
“Reassurance, empowerment and tools that lead to recognition of self-worth allow clients to work more effectively with professionals throughout the divorce process.”
This support in so valuable, especially for the many clients who feel like they are entering the lion’s den when they attempt negotiations with their ex. Reassurance, empowerment and tools that lead to recognition of self-worth allow clients to work more effectively with professionals throughout the divorce process.
Coaching vs. Therapy
You may be wondering if you should refer a client to a divorce coach over a traditional therapist. The truth is, they might need both!
In traditional therapy, the process is different. It often focuses more on past experiences and how those experiences are currently impacting the individual. This is a healthy and worthwhile process, but very different than the work done in divorce coaching. Therapists are also able to diagnose specific mental health disorders and design their treatment accordingly. While these mental health concerns may surface during the divorce, the coaching process is there to facilitate the journey through the actual divorce. The goals are very specific and present/future oriented. Divorce coaching helps clients move from where they are now, to where they want to be regarding the divorce.
Coaching will help clients:
- Find a confident voice in the divorce process.
- Gain clarity with difficult decisions.
- Develop skills to help manage conflict with their ex.
- Build a solid divorce and/or parenting plan.
- Diminish the negative effects of the divorce process for the children and themselves.
- Establish clear and comfortable boundaries with their ex.
- Gain skills as a single parent and co-parent.
- Explore career transition to gain financial independence.
- Navigate dating and new relationships.
- Develop healthy blended families.
- Significantly lower attorney fees by working through issues outside of the attorney’s office.
- Receive an unbiased perspective from someone who understands the divorce process
- Gain access to referrals who will help with specific questions.
- Organize their questions before meeting with the referred professionals, such as a financial advisor, to empower the client in the process.
Divorce Coaching Ultimately Saves Money
Aside from the emotional support gained from divorce coaching, the financial savings is often a big draw to using coaching services.
While the initial upfront cost of divorce coaching might seem like just another added expense during a potentially unstable financial time, it is able to save your client money in the long run. Those who utilize coaching services spend less in legal fees and shorten their divorce process significantly. Divorce coaches set their own fees, which vary across the country. Their hourly fees can run half of what attorneys in the same locale may charge.
Using the coaching sessions as a space to detangle their feelings and develop confidence about decisions enable clients to make better use of their time spent with their lawyer and other professionals. Engaging in more proactive and more effective meetings ultimately saves time and money. I’ve seen this play out with several clients.
Eliminate Paralysis and Fear
When clients are planning a divorce, their thoughts are swirling and they’re gathering often-conflicting advice from professionals, family and friends. I’ve worked with these clients to organize their questions and to develop lists of questions for specific professionals on their case.
For example, a divorcing client who had been a stay-at-home mom and homemaker for most of her married life had very little access to finances during the marriage. Now in her 60s, she was overwhelmed by not understanding her assets and how the process worked. She was also paralyzed with fear that her husband would leave her with nothing because she was unaware of what they had financially. And she had very little idea what her financial future would be.
Not only did we reassured her that her financial advisor could walk her through this process, we organized a list of her questions for the advisor that helped her feel empowered and more in control of the process. She was then able to have a successful and informative meeting with the advisor because she came armed with questions rather than fear. This allowed her to be more present in the meeting and she was able to leave with clarity.
Knowing first-hand how hard the divorce process can be is the very reason I started Thriving Ahead Divorce Coaching. I knew there had to be a smoother way to travel this difficult life path. Divorce coaching can help your client find peace, strength and empowerment — and ultimately that will help them find the happiness they seek beyond their divorce.
Meghan Remington, Certified Divorce Coach®️, Narcissistic Abuse Specialist™️, works with clients pre-, during, and post-divorce. Coaching services allow clients to become more confident, empowered and at peace during this journey. Divorce is a difficult life transition but it doesn’t have to be isolating. Meghan serves as a thinking partner to help clients develop skills to achieve their goals during the divorce process. For more information, visit her website at thrivingahead.com.