Maybe you debated for years if you should stay or go, until finally you were so miserable you couldn’t breathe. Or maybe he announced out of the blue that he was unhappy and wanted out, and you never saw it coming. Or was it that your relationship just slowed down over the years until it came to a long, grinding halt? Regardless of how your marriage ended, it probably felt like someone took your entire life as you knew it and blew it to pieces.
Now you are facing a divorce and you know you have to put yourself back together somehow…but how? The questions running through your mind just won’t stop: “Can we even afford a divorce?” “What about the kids, will they be ok?” “Will I have to go back to work?” “What will my friends think?” “Why is this happening to me?” “How am I supposed to start over at my age?”
The list of unknowns is daunting, not to mention your heart is broken and you have zero energy to tackle any of the tasks you face. You probably don’t even know where to start. This is why you should consider hiring a divorce coach.
What’s a divorce coach?
Divorce is a major life transition, as is getting married or having a baby. These are moments in our life when everything changes and life takes on a very different look. Much like we have wedding planners to plan the big day and midwives to assist us in weeks and months leading up to a birth, there are divorce coaches who are trained to help you with this monumental shift in your life.
Recognize that this is not the time to try and “go it alone”
You aren’t your best self right now, and you know it. Your stress level is through the roof. You are forgetful, exhausted, and clumsy. You aren’t sleeping (or you are sleeping too much), you aren’t eating or exercising, you are drinking too much wine and the household chores are piling up. And you know what? You really don’t care. Yet the decisions you are going to be forced to make during your divorce have real and long lasting repercussions, so you really can’t afford to screw them up. What are you supposed to do?
Ask for help
You’ll need a team to get through this. Start with your best friend and your family. Tell them you could really use a shoulder to cry on and help with the kids. Then move onto lining up your professionals. It’s really important that you are as well informed as possible in order to make thoughtful and smart choices with all of the big decisions that you face. Your friends and family mean well, but they aren’t trained to help you with a divorce. You’ll need several professionals to navigate this process. Where to start?
Everyone thinks the first thing to do is get an attorney. It’s not. Before you hire a lawyer, you have to decide what the right divorce process is for you. Is it mediation, collaborative, litigation? What are the pros and cons of each? Once you know what process is the right one for you, then you can look for an attorney who practices that type of law. However, you’ll immediately face the next question, “How do I know if s/he is good?” Before you write that check for the retainer, you’ll need to interview several attorneys until you find one you respect, like, and believe is right for the job.
Hire a divorce coach first
A coach will be able to help you understand the divorce process and the different options available to you. S/he will have excellent professionals to recommend and may even accompany you to meetings to interview attorneys. Finding an attorney is the tip of the iceberg though. Do you understand your finances? Where will you live? How will you tell the kids? A divorce coach is there to guide you to the answers to these questions and to many, many more, as well as help you with the emotional ups and downs all along the way.
How do you know if you need a divorce coach? Ask yourself, do any of these 9 reasons ring true? If so, hiring a coach would be a good investment for you:
- You aren’t thinking clearly
- You are unfamiliar with the legal process
- You can’t get past your anger
- You are paralyzed by fear
- You either aren’t making good decisions or you aren’t making any decisions at all
- You don’t understand anything about your finances
- You don’t know how to be a good parent right now
- Your self-esteem is at an all time low
- You have no idea what you are going to do after the divorce is over
It is certainly possible to get through a divorce on your own, many people have had to do it solo. However, if you put a team in place, you will be much better equipped to make smart and sound decisions about the future, for you and your children.
Still unsure whether or not coaching is for you? We offer free consultations so that you can ask questions and find out more about how we work. Contact us to schedule your free 45-minute telephone consultation.