Everybody is good at something. We hire experts to do stuff for us based on what’s going on in our lives. Things we have trouble doing ourselves and things we need help with. You don’t hire a landscaper to steam clean your carpets or go to the dentist when you sprain your ankle. Why is it though that when going through a divorce, which is often one of the most perilous times in our lives, that we rely solely on a lawyer to guide us through the entire process? Lawyers are good at what they do (hopefully). They give legal advice. This is typically only one of several needs that we have when divorcing.
I remember when I was contemplating divorce back in 2008 and how hard that was to work through on my own. Friends and family can be a huge help and source of support but they are generally not neutral and fielding their advice, suggestions, etc. is often not what we specifically need either. Although no doubt well meaning and intended to benefit and help us, not what we really need and in some cases, only serves to confuse us more. Getting clear focus is really the goal. Reassessing and reasserting what we want and need can’t effectively be achieved in our circle of family and friends and it is also not the role of our divorce lawyer to try to sort these things out for us. I struggled with this when I was getting divorced. Ultimately I made my own decisions and got through the process but had I had access to a divorce coach, it would have been hugely beneficial to me at the time.
We all have a clear understanding of what a divorce lawyer does but what exactly does a divorce coach provide? Here is a good article on this topic: 3 Things a Divorce Coach Can Do for You. Just as the lawyer is a neutral party in regard to the legalities of getting divorced. The divorce coach is also a neutral party to the divorce process. Divorce coaches don’t deal in legal matters though but rather provide a sounding board for all the stressful thoughts and emotions that come along with divorce. It’s best to be able to think clearly during the divorce process since so many decisions need to be made. Good divorce coaches don’t provide advice but rather give you a forum and guidance to help you with the decisions that need to be made. They help you hone in on what’s important to you through careful listening and questioning to help guide you to your own solutions.
Often, when placed into these fight or flight situations though our reptilian brain kicks in. This is a clear recipe for poor judgement as well as acting and doing things that are most likely not in our interest. The notion of being able to take the high road in a divorce is made more difficult by us succumbing to this very natural instinct. Again, lawyers are not equipped to deal with this but coaches are trained specifically to ask the questions that help us refocus on who we want to be and what we want to achieve. Oh, and divorce coaches are a lot less expensive than lawyers, so there is that aspect of it as well.
Everyones situation is different. There is a lot at stake. Your wellbeing and if applicable, that of your kids, hangs in the balance. It’s not a situation anyone wants to be in or go through but divorce does happen and I understand what it feels like when your world feels like it is caving in. Let your lawyer provide the services that they provide and consider hiring a coach help you see things more clearly.