Divorce can be difficult. Some view it as a war of attrition, with both sides pushing their lawyers to fight to the death over such vital victories as the vacuum cleaner and the pumpkin garden in the back yard.
But in other divorce cases, the process has become more touchy-feely. Along with brutish litigation, we have the option of mediation. Along with depositions, we have settlement conferences. And now, along with lawyers, we have "divorce coaches" and self-help solutions to the paperwork problem.
What is a divorce coach? According to Reuters, it's a new profession, invented by a former attorney in New York. Much like a life coach, it's a way to have someone provide emotional support and neutral guidance when you need it most. Divorce coaches can potentially help you with:
If you didn't read about it before, take heed of the lessons from Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' divorce. Their "fight" lasted a little more than a week. Why? Because Holmes was prepared. She planned the divorce before it happened. She had guidance throughout the process (including advice from her father, who's a lawyer). A divorce coach helps you in the same way. The coach will tell you what obstacles you will face, what emotions will come up, and where to turn for legal advice. Note that, unless the coach is a licensed attorney, she should not be giving you actual legal advice.
Some clients run up huge legal bills by using their divorce attorney as a therapist. Now, for the low price of about $100 per hour (more or less, depending on the divorce coach and where you live), you can pay someone to "coach" you through the process, including dealing with the emotional aspects of divorce. By venting to your divorce coach, you'll avoid paying your attorney $250 per hour for the same service.
Divorce requires more than just a few forms. It often requires creating a whole new separate life for yourself, including new financial accounts. Your coach may be able to help with this, and may even point you in the direction of self-help legal services to get your divorce paperwork completed. Of course, you'll still be facing your ex's lawyer in court, so you may not want to ditch your divorce lawyer altogether.
So are divorce coaches worth it? One person cited by Reuters paid $3,000 to his attorney and $7,000 to his divorce coaches. Most people don't have that kind of cash. But if you do, and you have no support system to guide you through your divorce, a divorce coach may be worth the investment. Then again, at $100 or more per hour, you may just want to look at a licensed therapist instead.
- Consult a Chicago Family Law Attorney (FindLaw)
- Learning From Seal and Heidi: Tips For Dating While Divorcing (FindLaw's Chicago Family Law Blog)
- How to Change Your Name During and After a Divorce (FindLaw's Chicago Family Law Blog)
- Tips for Choosing a Divorce Lawyer (FindLaw's Chicago Family Law Blog)