Divorce, like many times of crisis in life, is a time when many choices and decisions must be made. It is precipitated by a major choice to sever a marriage by one or both partners, and then it requires a multitude of decisions before the process is over, the results of which will follow the parties long term.
It is a time of much stress as all the various divisions of assets and responsibilities are determined. Something we know about stress from current research is that a person’s cognitive and decision making abilities are degraded up to 30% when under significant stress. Finding ways to counteract this should then be a priority of the individual to insure the most competent decision making and negotiating. Because the persons being divorced are the decision makers in divorce—the ones with ultimate responsibility for the terms of the final agreement contained in the decree of divorce.
There are major temptations at this point to be far less than one’s best self, an adult accepting adult responsibility for participating as a full, competent player in the divorce process. One is to choose to assume the role of victim, and to blame the other partner for everything that happens. Another is to try and pawn off responsibility on one’s attorney to make the necessary decisions in negotiation. Or both. But the ultimate responsibility for the decisions made lie with the divorcing person, not the attorney. The attorney advises the client on legal matters and represents the client in the legal negotiations and hearings, but should never become the one making the decisions. That responsibility lies solely with the client.
This is where the personal divorce coach can be an invaluable asset to a person going through divorce. As a sounding board and thought partner, the divorce coach can help the client sort through and clarify their desires and requirements to be able to communicate them clearly to their attorney. The coach is also there to help the client separate the emotional story from the practical decision making that must take place for the client to be the most competent participant in the divorce process.
The coach also helps the client look forward to what their needs and desires are for their post divorce life, so that these can be addressed adequately in the negotiations and final agreement. The coach is also there for the client as a non-judgmental moral support for the client. Just having someone to listen actively to what they have to communicate can do wonders for lowering the stress level of the client. A coach never makes decisions for the client, nor advises them on what they should do, but facilitates the client becoming clear on their own priorities, needs and desires so that they can deal competently as their own representative together with their attorney in the negotiations and processing of the divorce.
Are you in the process of a divorce, contemplating divorcing, or know someone who is? Or perhaps just recently divorced? I’d welcome the opportunity to discuss your situation and how a personal divorce coach can assist you in your journey. I offer a completely free consultation to explore where you are and where you want to go, and how I might be able to help you along the way. Request your free consultation today!
Image by Jiri Hodan [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons