Navigating Separation: Understanding the Impact of a Divorce Coach

co-parenting collaborative divorce divorce coach kids and divorce mediation

When I was going through my own divorce, everything felt overwhelming. The thought of engaging with more than one professional during that time was unimaginable. I was worried about spending money because I knew the divorce itself would be expensive. Going from a two-income household to one income was even scarier, as financial stability became a major concern.

I never would have considered hiring a divorce coach. At that point, I did not know what one was, but I was also extremely reluctant to spend any additional money. However, as time passed, I had the opportunity to interact with some pretty fantastic divorce coaches who provided invaluable support and guidance throughout the process.

Now, I feel compelled to share a little more about what they do and how they can make a significant difference during such challenging times.

What is a Divorce Coach?

Until the last few years, I had no idea how expansive the coaching industry was. I knew there were a lot of coaches out there, but I didn't understand how they differed from one another. I was introduced to divorce coaches when I completed my collaborative divorce training in 2013. It was clear to me what a valuable resource divorce coaches could be for a couple who chose to use the collaborative process. However, I had no idea how often divorce coaching is used for those not using the collaborative process.

A divorce coach can serve many roles within the divorce. They are most commonly thought of as emotional support, but depending on their training, they can do so much more than that. Some divorce coaches specialize in the challenges related to co-parenting. They can work with one or both parties to develop plans that resolve parenting issues. Other divorce coaches help more with communication and how to approach divorce negotiations, while others coach on healing from the relationship and moving on.

Do you need a Divorce Coach?

When working with clients who are facing a divorce, I am always looking for ways to better support them through the process with as minimal a financial impact as possible. In some cases, believe it or not, divorce coaching can be the key to saving you money. To reiterate, I'm saying in some cases. Let me explain.

Most divorce coaches are skilled at helping you separate your emotions from the decisions that need to be made to move forward. Having someone give you that clarity is incredibly valuable. Here are some reasons you might want to consider reaching out to a Divorce Coach:

  • You're so fearful about your future that you can't make decisions
  • You have no idea what you're going to do when the divorce is final
  • You're very angry and are trying to use your divorce to get revenge
  • You're not familiar with the legal process and would like someone to hold your hand through it
  • You're not thinking clearly, and it's making it very hard to make any decisions
  • You are struggling to figure out a parenting plan that's going to work
  • You are struggling to figure out how you will co-parent

I reached out to some divorce coaches and asked them what they thought the most significant benefit of working with a coach is. Their answers are below.

divorce coach talking to client


Benefits of working with a divorce coach from the experts:


Rebecca Wolf, Founder of Her Divorce Project:

"My divorce five years ago came as a shock. I was completely unprepared financially and emotionally to handle all the challenges and unknowns. I was terrified and vulnerable, stuck in indecision and unable to move forward effectively. I have two children. I wanted what was best for them during and after the divorce, but, at the time, I didn't know what that looked like. Fear and anger crept in and quickly clouded my judgment. I wish that I had known about divorce coaching.  

I needed an ally who I could trust. With a coach, I would have gotten support in making all the important decisions, and I would not have wasted valuable time or financial resources trying to piece together a team and a plan. A coach would have helped me navigate the emotional rollercoaster and kept me on track when the stress threatened to derail me.  

Just as lawyers and financial experts have very important and specific roles in the divorce process, a divorce coach has the job of supporting and guiding her clients through the challenging maze of emotions. She ensures that self-care is prioritized so her clients can make decisions from a place of clarity. She relies on her personal and professional experience, training, and connections to create structure, safety, and space. This is critical because each divorce is unique, and each client's needs are different. The coach's job doesn't usually end when the divorce papers are signed. She is often invited to facilitate her client's smooth transition to a successful single life. She is an advocate and a thinking partner for the entire divorce journey."


Susan Kiernan, Certified Divorce Coach

"Divorce is a difficult time, and there are so many uncertainties. Fear and overwhelm can hijack your brain and emotions. Well-intentioned advice pours in from everywhere. A divorce coach supports you to hear your own voice, to clearly understand and know your individual wants, needs, and goals, and to create a plan for moving forward."


Dr. Marlene Bizub

"The greatest benefit to using a divorce coach is that often people don't have to use attorneys, who often only perpetuate the conflict between the parties. On the American Bar Association website, divorce coaches are listed as a type of mediation service. We work to try to reach an agreement between the parties so they don't have to litigate. It is a kinder, more cost-effective approach, and it leaves the parties able to be friends instead of pitting them against one another."


Liesel Darby, M.A., M.Ed, CC

"A divorce coach is invaluable in building resilience and promoting emotional healing throughout the divorce process and beyond. Need help in communicating calmly and succinctly with the ex? How about learning how to manage the inevitable stress so that you can sleep through the night? What about envisioning and creating your brand-new life after the dust has settled? A divorce coach can assist with these issues and more. 

An added bonus is that clients actually end up saving money when working with a divorce coach because they are dealing with the emotional fallout with a coach at a much lower hourly rate than with their lawyer, who really wants to focus on the legal aspect of divorce, and isn't trained to deal with the emotional issues. A divorce coach can get a client through this difficult time with the least amount of damage possible. My goal is to take clients from devastation to dancing." 



Sharri Freedman JD, CDC®

"One of the many benefits to working with a Certified Divorce Coach® is having support and guidance to help manage stress and the overwhelming myriad of emotions that inevitably come with the ending of a marriage and often linger post-divorce. Additionally, A Certified Divorce Coach®, especially one with a background in family law such as myself, will help you consider the practical, emotional, financial, and legal challenges divorce presents and formulate a strategic plan so you can confidently move through the divorce process and successfully manage life after divorce."


Karen Bonnell 

"As a Collaboratively trained divorce and co-parent coach, my hope is that parents who are contemplating separation/divorce prioritize meeting with a divorce coach as their first step. Divorce is a stressful time. Choosing a divorce team that will assist you through the legal system without unnecessary harm, without stoking adversarial fires, and without putting your children's childhood in jeopardy makes all the difference in the world. What divorce breaks apart for kids, skillful co-parenting rebuilds. Your divorce/co-parent coach is the person who can assist you both together to keep your children central and to fight together for what's right for their family now in transition.

In the face of all the change and loss, you may question your ability to work with one another. But from my experience, with a skilled divorce coach at your sides, you have an opportunity to take an extremely difficult circumstance and round the corner into a resilient and constructive future – after all, you'd do just about anything to protect your children from harm. It starts right here. Right now. Your divorce coaches are there to assist with not only getting through the divorce, but also living into your high-end goals as an eventually thriving two-home family."


Pegotty Cooper, FASAE, IOM, CDC 

"Having a professional on your team who clears the path of clutter and obstacles makes it easier for you to accomplish what you want to accomplish. When we provide the right environment, your strengths, and wisdom to make the right decisions emerge. In the end, the client feels that they have done their very best to make the best decisions for their future and that of their family."


Laura Miolla, MA, CPCC, PCC

"By working with me, my clients are empowered to get off the emotional rollercoaster and make clear legal and financial decisions that will fund their future throughout the entire process." 


Dr. Karen Finn

"A divorce coach can help you gain the clarity you need to make smart, healthy, life-long decisions so that you can look yourself in the mirror and KNOW you did the right thing."



In conclusion,  divorce can be a difficult and emotionally taxing experience for both spouses. It is important to have a support system in place, especially when it comes to making important decisions that will impact your future. This is where a divorce coach can be incredibly helpful.

A divorce coach is trained to provide emotional support, guidance, and clarity during the divorce process. They help you navigate through the rollercoaster of emotions and make clear legal and financial decisions that will shape your future.

Not only do they offer practical advice, but they also provide an unbiased perspective on the situation. This can be particularly beneficial when dealing with highly charged emotions and complex legal matters.

Divorce coaches are not therapists or lawyers, but rather experts in managing the emotional aspect of divorce. They work alongside your lawyer to ensure that all factors are taken into consideration and that you make informed decisions.

One of the biggest benefits of having a divorce coach is their ability to help you communicate effectively with your ex-partner.

Furthermore, working with a divorce coach can save you time and money in the long run. By having someone on your side who understands the divorce process, you can avoid common pitfalls and costly mistakes.

It's important to note that hiring a divorce coach is completely confidential. They provide a safe space for you to express your thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment. This level of support can be invaluable during such a difficult time. 


Common Questions About Divorce Coaching

Q: Why should I hire a divorce coach instead of just relying on my attorney?

A: While your attorney can provide legal advice, a divorce coach offers an additional level of support that focuses on your emotional well-being and overall success during and after the divorce. They work alongside your attorney to ensure all factors are taken into consideration and that you make informed decisions.

Q: How can a divorce coach help with communication between me and my ex-partner?

A: One of the biggest benefits of having a divorce coach is their ability to help facilitate healthy communication between you and your ex-partner. They can provide strategies and techniques for effective communication, as well as offer a neutral perspective to navigate any conflicts that may arise.

Q: Will my divorce coach also help with the practical aspects of the process?

A: Yes, a divorce coach is trained to assist with both the emotional and practical aspects of divorce. They can help you organize paperwork and create a budget, and make important decisions related to child custody. However, they are not financial planners. For guidance on the division of assets, consult with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA). A divorce coach's goal is to support you throughout every step of the process.

Q: Can a divorce coach work with both parties or just one?

A: A divorce coach can work with either one or both parties involved in the divorce. If you and your spouse are open to it, having a coach work with both of you can help facilitate communication and reach respectful resolutions. However, if only one party is interested in working with a coach, they can still benefit from the support and guidance provided during this challenging time. The ultimate goal is to ensure that each individual involved feels heard and understood.

Q: How long will I need to work with a divorce coach?

A: The length of time needed for coaching varies depending on the complexity of the situation and the progress made during sessions. Some individuals may only need a few sessions while others may require ongoing support throughout the entire divorce process. A divorce coach can also be tremendously valuable as you navigate the years just after your divorce. Your coach will work closely with you to determine what works best for your unique situation.




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