Divorce is a complex process that can create fear, anxiety, confusion, and uncertainty. Many of these divorce realities are due to a state of “unknowing.” Most people heading into divorce are, understandably, unfamiliar with the legal requirements, financial implications, and logistical demands that are part of the divorce process.
As a result, many people rely on input from friends and family for guidance. Sadly, that approach can backfire, providing the divorcing individual with erroneous information and misleading perspectives. While it’s true that trusted friends and family can be an invaluable part of a divorce support system, it is critical to remember that their experiences are unique to their situation. As a mediator, I have seen many disputing parties approach negotiations with inflexible, pre-conceived notions about what they want and what they need based solely on the experiences of friends and neighbors whose circumstances were, in fact, dramatically different than theirs.
When seeking divorce information, it is important to confer with reputable divorce professionals and to create a team of experienced experts who can guide you in the right direction based on your specific situation. A divorce coach can be one of the most valuable members of your team, providing support and guidance throughout the many challenging phases of the divorce process. These include the initial phase of “Should I or shouldn’t I,” the quandary of “I want a divorce, but I don’t know how to tell my spouse,” or the reality of “My spouse just informed me he/she wants a divorce and I don’t know what to do first.” Once the divorce process has begun, other concerns that a divorce coach can help with include how to gather and organize paperwork and documents; how to select, hire and deal with lawyers and financial experts; and how to manage your time and practice positive self-care measures. Post-divorce challenges that a divorce coach can assist you with include re-entering the workplace, establishing a new social life, and dealing with co-parenting issues. Whatever phase of divorce you are in, a divorce coach is there to assist and support you, acting as a sounding board, a thinking partner, and an experienced, trained guide to help you navigate one of life’s most difficult transitions.
Among the many ways a divorce coach can support and help you are these three keys to a successful divorce outcome:
One comforting piece of news about divorce is that you do not have to go it alone. Therapists, coaches, attorneys, and financial experts can all offer you assistance during this time of life-changing transition. So be smart, not sorry – take the initiative to surround yourself with experts who can provide the support and guidance you need as you work toward creating a secure and successful future.
JoAnne Donner is the president and founder of Donner Mediation and Coaching, LLC. She is a certified mediator, mediation coach, and divorce coach, and holds a Master’s Degree in Conflict Management. As a conflict resolution specialist, JoAnne helps people successfully deal with conflict whether in a divorce, a family dispute, or a workplace confrontation. A recognized leader in the mediation and coaching fields, JoAnne has been interviewed by CNN, and has been featured in the Atlanta Business Chronicle and the Family Law Review. A firm believer in the power of mediation and the coaching process, JoAnne is dedicated to helping her clients work through conflict to realize their goals and to achieve a successful outcome and resolution that is both amicable and fair.