Divorce Coach: Providing Support Through a Divorce
- What is a divorce coach?
- Reasons for a divorce coach
- Divorce coach cost
- Benefits of a divorce coach
- Where to find a divorce coach
- Divorce coaching from Hello Divorce
A divorce coach is a specific type of life coach who guides you through the complex process of ending your marriage. Your coach can help you compile documents, clarify goals, prepare for court, and wrangle difficult emotions. They partner with you, align with your goals, and take your side.
Some say hiring a coach is the best thing they've ever done. But coaches can be expensive, and some people with relatively simple divorces may not want or need to spend money on additional help. But if you want the equivalent of a personal assistant for your divorce, you may find hiring one well worth it.
Keep reading to find out what divorce coaches do, and learn how one might benefit you throughout your divorce and as you navigate your next chapter.
What is a divorce coach?
The American Bar Association says divorce coaching is both flexible and goal-oriented. Coaches modify their techniques and approaches to help their clients find an amicable end to their marriages, and everything they do is for the good of the clients they serve.
They are usually not lawyers, nor can they give legal advice. But they can help you figure out what type of legal help you need and connect you to the best resources and experts for your situation.
Divorce coaches can help with the following:
- Documents: Judges need proof to make fair rulings. In complex divorces, people may need to provide real estate assessments, bank statements, retirement fund valuations, and more. Coaches can help their clients find and collate all of this paperwork.
- Goal setting: Divorces rely on give and take. But some people struggle to understand when they should bend and when they should push. A coach can help clarify what's really important.
- Role play: Most divorces involve conversations. Coaches can help clients prepare for mediation meetings, official testimony, and court hearings. Coaches can play the opposing role, allowing for effective practices.
- Support: Divorces are emotionally wrenching, and many people benefit from an understanding listener. Coaches are available to help their clients work through complex emotions.
Some divorce coaches specialize in a specific issue, such as childcare or financial planning. Others focus on emotional well-being and can help their clients find peace during difficult times. Ask prospective coaches about their specialties before signing up.
Interested in hiring a divorce coach? Learn more about Hello Divorce's options here.
5 reasons you need a divorce coach
Divorce can be expensive, and many people balk at the idea of hiring even one more person to help them get through it. But some circumstances are best handled with a coach on your side. These are a few of them:
1. You're struggling to make decisions
Divorce causes upheaval, and the chaos can leave you feeling paralyzed and unable to move forward. Even so, you must make critical decisions about your estate and your future as part of the process.
A divorce coach can help you explore your options and push past roadblocks, so you can fill out paperwork and move through your divorce. They can guide you through the process, so you don’t feel so overwhelmed.
2. Your divorce is complex
Families with children, plenty of real estate, multiple retirement accounts, and extensive debt have a lot to discuss. Untangling their estate can be complicated, and it's critical to set goals and speak clearly. A coach can help make this possible by coaching you on conflict resolution and other negotiation techniques. While mediators also help with this, they remain neutral while a divorce coach takes your side.
3. You're overwhelmed by the process
Few people have law degrees, and all divorces are legal processes. A divorce coach can explain how the system works, define critical terms, and help people understand how effective breakups work. They can simplify the language and process to make it easier to understand. If a helping hand would alleviate some stress, a divorce coach is a great option for you.
4. Your lawyer suggests a coach
Some attorneys recommend working with coaches as they don't have time to handle non-legal work. A coach can help you with the organizational and emotional tasks involved with divorce.
5. Your emotions are too hard to handle alone
Most people get divorce coaches because they are emotionally and mentally overwhelmed. While it's easy to use divorce to get even, revenge can hurt your future too. And couples that fight about the past – not the future – struggle to move forward quickly. A coach can help you process pain and clarify what should happen next.
How much will it cost?
Divorce coaches come from various backgrounds, and their fees shift accordingly. The more education and expertise your coach has, the more you're likely to pay.
In general, coaches charge as low as $50 to as much as hundreds per hour. Some provide packages, so you can get all the help you want with one fee. But others do not and simply charge hourly. Get an estimate beforehand since hours can add up quickly.
A coach's fee is worthwhile if you're getting the right kind of help at the right time. Only you can answer that question. But know that some couples have long, messy, expensive divorces because they can't make decisions or argue over the past. If a coach can help you move past these challenges, your money is likely well spent.
Three benefits of working with a divorce coach
Divorce coaches aren't lawyers, so they can't give legal advice, handle paperwork or help with court cases for you. But hiring one can come with key benefits.
Your divorce coach could do the following:
- Save you money: Some people use their lawyers as therapists, scheduling long sessions to discuss their trauma and pain. Lawyers can charge very high hourly fees, and you'll get little in return, as lawyers aren't mental health professionals. A coach is different.
- Help you focus: It's easy to get bogged down by paperwork and legalese during the divorce process. A coach can help you envision a future after your split, so you'll remain motivated.
- Be on your side: You may feel lost and cast adrift after splitting with your long-time partner. If you’re used to working through complex issues together, this loss is especially acute. A coach can fill this role for you, ensuring you always have an ally and advocate.
Where to find the right divorce coach
Besides hiring a Hello Divorce divorce coach, you have options. Plenty of divorce coaches are ready to work with you, and finding one could be as easy as doing a Google search.
You could also ask for referrals from people involved in your divorce, such as your lawyer. And if a friend or family member recently used a coach, find out if that person could be right for you.
Organizations like Certified Divorce Coach and HC Divorce Coach have online directories that can jumpstart the search process too.
Some experts say it's critical to explore a coach's mental health license. If you're looking for therapy during divorce, this can be a good approach. But if you're hoping for financial expertise or legal guidance, confirming your coach has that background could be smart too.
Ensure that your coach is someone you trust and can talk with. This person is your ally, and it's smart to choose with care.
How does divorce coaching from Hello Divorce work?
Hello Divorce is proud to offer online certified divorce coaching to our clients as part of an integrated “one-stop-shop” experience. That means you don’t have to venture outside of the Hello Divorce family to get the support you need. You may only need to work with our client services team right now, but perhaps in a month, you will encounter a financial issue. In that instance, your divorce coach might recommend a meeting with a certified divorce financial advisor, or CDFA. They can then connect you to a CDFA on the Hello Divorce team – no referrals for you to contact on your own.
Our divorce coaching is designed to support and advise clients in their quest to survive divorce and thrive afterward. You have a lot of big decisions to make (and big feelings). You need not go it alone, wonder if you’re doing the right thing, or lawyer up out of fear. Your certified divorce coach will help you create actionable plans for your life before, during, or after your divorce.
Interested in hiring a divorce coach? Learn more about Hello Divorce's options here.
Divorce Coaches. American Bar Association.
What Role Do Divorce Coaches Play During the Divorce Process? (August 2019). DivorceMag.com.
The 'Life Changing' Divorce Coaches Helping Couples Split. (September 2022). BBC.
Why Would Anyone Need a Divorce Coach? Here Are 7 Reasons. (December 2020). Psychology Today.