What many divorcing couples do not fully comprehend is that most divorce transactions are primarily emotional, especially when children are part of the equation. I would further suggest that in most circumstances, much more than half of the transaction costs are a result of the often massive amount of water under the proverbial emotional bridge. If you wish to have the best chance of preserving your co-parenting relationship and you want to not pay more money than is necessary to get a proper and protective divorce agreement, than I strongly suggest including a divorce coach on your team since they are specifically trained to help individuals navigate the sensitive emotional pitfalls that typically occur during the uncoupling process.
Most likely, when selecting a divorce lawyer, you have or will select your lawyer because of her/his knowledge of the law and how to work within its confines. However, by trade and training, lawyers may not be best equipped to address the emotional hurdles which often interfere with the legal transaction. Divorce coaching, as defined by the American Bar Association 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.”
Good divorce coaches by training and experience are not only skilled when it comes to the mental health issues involved in the transaction, but they very much understand the nuances of the divorce processes and how the process itself can impact decision making and communication between the parties/parents. To boot, more often than not, the hourly rate of a divorce coach is less than half that of your lawyer. However, since a divorce coach alone is not sufficient, it is advisable that you work with a divorce attorney that understands how to efficiently and effectively utilize the services of the divorce coach to your advantage.
As a divorce lawyer, there is nothing better than a client coming to my office who knows exactly what they want. They have prioritized their goals and concerns and they have properly isolated the “soft” issues which they have or plan to address with their therapist or close confidant so that we can get down to business at hand. I can tell you, however, that this rarely, if ever, occurs. When, on rare occasion, this does happen, it is typically the result of the party working with a divorce coach in addition to competent counsel.
The cost savings, both financial and emotional, can be exponential when properly utilizing a divorce coach. Without a divorce coach, getting to the client’s real goals and the real concerns and laying out strategy to obtain as many of those goals as possible, can often take months or even years of time, laborious discovery and constant communication.
As the old proverb suggests, proper planning prevents poor performance. Coaching at its very root is just that. Identifying where you want to go and creating a plan A, B and C as to how to get there can save thousands of dollars and countless hours in the courtroom. Most importantly, it can protect you and your children from the devastating costs of divorce including your co-parenting relationship, which arguably is your most valuable asset.