What Is A Divorce Coach And Why Do You Need One?

divorceIt used to be a coach was just somebody who helped you get better at a sport.  But these days there are all types of coaches – physical fitness coaches, life coaches, marriage coaches, relationship coaches – and even divorce coaches.

You may need an attorney to get divorced, but do you really need a divorce coach?  It turns out that it’s possible you do – but don’t confuse a divorce coach with an attorney.

“The goal of a divorce coach is to try to make the divorce as smooth and painless as possible,”  says Pegotty Cooper, co-founder of Divorce Coaching Inc., (www.certifieddivorcecoach.com), which both provides divorce coaching and trains divorce coaches.  “Attorneys are the only ones who can provide legal advice or advise a client about their rights.”

Cooper, a co-author of Taking the High Road in Divorce – Simple Strategies for Creating a Healthy Divorce, says divorce coaches and divorce attorneys do work together, however. One of the goals of the divorce coach is to help the client prepare to meet with the divorce attorney, including helping the client get all the paperwork together that will be required.  The divorce coach also works with the client to develop ways to make the divorce as painless as possible.

Divorce coaches can help their clients build self-confidence, and provide them with the tools they need to effectively communicate with everyone involved in the process, Cooper says.

She offers these reasons why a divorce coach is so key to a successful divorce:

  • There are many issues to resolve.  The coach can help the client navigate through the details of those decisions.
  • The divorce is complicated. Sometimes in complicated divorces, a spouse just doesn’t know where to start.  A divorce coach can help the client go through the issues and organize them.
  • Money is limited.  By making sure the client is organized and has all the relevant paperwork, meeting with the attorney is more efficient.
  • Emotional support. The divorce coach can offer emotional support to a spouse who may be overwhelmed and not ready to tackle all the painful issues of the divorce.  This is especially true for people trying to tackle their divorce alone.

“A personal divorce coach can help build your self-confidence, and provide you with tools on how to effectively communicate with your spouse,” Cooper says.  “Divorces are huge emotional events, and sometimes friends and relatives mean well but they will push people in the wrong direction.  A professional and caring divorce coach can reduce the stress and help the person get on with their life.’

How to prepare for a divorce

divorceWhile making the decision to get a divorce can be heartbreaking and difficult, there are some things a person should do to prepare themselves for the process. One of the many things to consider is the impact divorce will have on your finances. HuffPost talked to five divorce attorneys for some tips on how to prepare to protect your assets in a divorce. They include knowing your assets, creating a budget, looking for an attorney (of course) and more. 

Who gets the dog in the divorce?

SmokeyWhen marriages fail, two people who were once in love can find themselves skirmishing over seemingly insignificant and petty things. But one possession can stir the same sort of feelings one has for his or her children: pets. According to HuffPost, only two states, Alaska and Illinois, don’t see pets as property that could potentially be sold in a divorce. Fighting over who gets the dog, cat or other pet can be as intense and divisive as any other divorce-related disagreement. And if the two sides can’t agree, a judge may decide who gets the pets and when the other ex can visit them. Read more about how these sometimes petty problems get solved at HuffPost.

New California non-profit wants to help family courts work better for families

divorceBudget cuts, outdated procedures, and unrealized reforms have left families using the California family courts system suffering unnecessarily both financially and emotionally. For a decade, strong recommendations for fundamental change in the family law system have gone unrealized. Family Justice Advocates in Action is providing needed support to help make those reforms a reality. “As hard as our family courts work they don’t have the resources a state like California should have to properly serve the families going through what can be an emotionally and financially draining process. Our families are our most precious resource.  To help protect that resource, we are working to support the courts and families so their emotional and financial exposure is limited and they can move on with their lives,” says Family Justice Advocates In Action Founder and Board Member Jennifer Moores.

Family Justice Advocates in Action is working to ensure equal access to justice within the family court system for all families, increase the focus on child safety and to make navigating the legal system easier and more effective.  Among the issues impeding equal access to justice and child safety is the reality that many families cannot afford to pay for court reporters in their proceedings.  Without a court reporter there is no transcript of the proceeding, and this can cause errors, delays and the prolonging of proceedings.  This both increases the costs to families going through the family court process, and can significantly delay or defer court orders for child custody, visitation or support. A verbatim record is especially critical when an individual is appealing their case.

Under current law, the appeal, in many cases, will be dismissed or denied without the reporter’s transcript. An independent 2013 survey by the Judiciary Committee showed that court reporter services were no longer provided for 30 out of 58 trial courts in California that deal with civil, family and probate proceedings. In those courts, the people involved in the case must now pay the substantial cost of hiring a private court reporter so they can have an official record of the court proceedings. The inability of a family to pay for a court reporter should not be a reason they lack access to due process, justice and ultimately to safety.

Family Justice Advocates In Action is supporting the California Assembly and Senate budget proposals that include funding for court reporters. Providing equal access to justice and focusing on child safety and well-being must be a top priority. To learn more about Family Justice Advocates in Action’s mission, go to www.fjaia.org or their Facebook page www.facebook.com/FamilyJusticeAdvocatesInAction/.

Podcast: Love and divorce edition

divorceThe state of the marriage union is discussed by two top Chicago-area family lawyers in this podcast from The Chicago Bar Association on the Legal Talk Network featuring Miles N. Beermann and Kimberly Cook. Hosts Jon Amarilio and Jennifer Byrne ask about the current state of marriage and divorce in America, as well as their guests’ experiences on the front lines of this contentious area of the law. Beermann and Cook also talk about how they might have handled some high-profile celebrity divorces.

Not all assets are equal in a divorce

divorceDivorce can take a terrible toll on those who choose to end a marriage. But making financial missteps during the process can make matters even worse in the long run. Depending on how intertwined your finances are, you may want to hire a financial advisor as well as a family law attorney to help guide you through the process of unwinding your marital assets. CNBC has a list of five financial mistakes you’ll want to avoid if you’re going through a financially-complicated divorce.

8 signs you should skip mediation and hire a divorce attorney

divorceAfter a marriage draws to an end, the divorcing couple must begin the trying work of untangling their legal, financial and child custody lives. While some believe the process will go well enough to consider mediation, the rest must hire family law attorneys. How does a couple know if mediation is right for them? Lifehacker has a list of eight signs divorcing couples should look for if they suspect that mediation won’t work for them.