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By Colleen Honquest

Attorneys are retained to represent the best interest of their clients and advocate for them in court. Therefore, clients depend on their attorneys, as experts, to gather pertinent information and investigate the legal and financial issues to settle the business part of the divorce. However, it can be very difficult for clients to distinguish business matters from the emotional issues of divorce. Emotions are interwoven with all of the issues and decisions that divorce presents. As we all know, there is no emotional justice in the court system. A Divorce Coach can serve as a personal mentor, throughout the process, and assist clients in separating the emotional stress from the business side of divorce. A coach spends a great deal of time educating clients as to how to focus on the business aspects and goals that they want to achieve to have a more peaceful life.

One of the biggest sources of dissatisfaction in the family law attorney-client relationship is over legal fees. This dissatisfaction can often take the form of fee complaints, fee arbitration, and ethics complaints. It often arises out of the simple fact that clients are not organized for divorce, or do not know how to work cost-effectively with their attorney. In turn, the attorney’s time is misused for purposes that could be more appropriatelytaken care of by a non-attorney. Especially if the client is dealing with a difficult spouse and they are having trouble sorting out the emotional noise from the pertinent facts. It is a scientific fact that the part of the brain, the frontal lobe, which is responsible for decision-making, can “shut down” and not function properly in the face of stress most commonly found in the divorce process. We can help your client focus on what is important and what is not. We can also help put in place strategies that they can use to enhance-or in some cases, decrease communication with their spouses. In cases of abuse or narcissistic and controlling spouses, it is often necessary to educate the client as to how they can stop the negative onslaught of emotional texts, phone calls, and emails so that they can proceed forward and focus their energy elsewhere. Divorce coaches can also enable clients to better juggle their personal and work life and not fall prey to the temptation to give up and walk away. 

Most Divorce Coaches have personal experience with the family court system, and know, literally, “what not to do”.  Many Coaches have extensive knowledge of what it is like to go through the divorce process with a very difficult or abusive spouse. They can help clients focus on getting the information that a lawyer needs for the court proceedings and lessen the clients focus on the emotional distractions coming from the ex-spouse. Coaches are available evenings and weekends for your clients. We also have a network of professionals who can help individuals in all aspects of their divorce journey as they navigate the divorce process. Divorce coaches can help your clients achieve more positive outcomes as they work with your legal team. 

The main goal of Divorce Coaching is to help clients make the best possible decisions for their future. Divorce coaches are not attorneys, financial planners, nor therapists.  Coaches are professionals who are mentors and sounding boards for individuals going through divorce. Divorce coaching can offer structure to your clients as they go through the legal process and thus help clients be responsible for assuming a proactive role in their outcomes. Divorce coaches focus on helping the client work with their attorney and get started on the paperwork that is needed to start their case. This helps them to take small steps that can significantly decrease their stress level and ultimately make them better clients for their attorneys and legal team.

Colleen Honquest, Divorce Mediator and Certified Divorce Coach. Principal at DivorceMD, LLC.

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