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What is a Pennsylvania Divorce Coach?

Posted By Attorney Jim Cairns || 12-Oct-2012

The turn of the century brought about demand for a helper in the field of uncontested divorces, called "divorce coaches". Getting a divorce coach is an extension of the idea that it's best to have help when something important needs to be done right the first time. Much like a wedding planner helps to take care of wedding details, a divorce coach takes care of the details of a divorce. With the growing rate of divorce, the divorce coaching market has expanded to include members who specialize in areas such as finance advising and communications during divorce.

A divorce coach is not the same thing as an uncontested divorce attorney. Divorce coaches are normally not qualified to give legal advice or services. The role of a divorce coach is to empower an individual through his/her divorce. To effectively use a coach a person should not be looking for someone to give him/her the "right" answers, but to help decipher the best course of action for the soon to be divorced person. Some of the areas in which a divorce coach can assist in are:

  1. Helping to determine if it's best to go from a contested divorce to an uncontested divorce (without giving legal advice, of course);
  2. Financial planning;
  3. Co-parenting tactics and strategies;
  4. Objective helping to aid in long term decision-making;
  5. Offering a safe and non-judgmental environment; and
  6. Teaching how to effectively communicate with the ex-spouse and/or children.

Divorce coaches can be part of team helping an individual through an uncontested Pennsylvania divorce. Some other members on the team may include a professional mental health specialist, accountant and real estate agent. You can have your coach put together a team for you or you can include a divorce coach as part of your support team.

Costs for a divorce coach can start at around $100 and go higher- for example, $675 for a five hour session. Prices also vary due to what a client may need, location in Pennsylvania or how often s/he meets with the divorce coach. A search on the internet will also bring up some free divorce coach webinars which include a variety of topics including how to establish priorities and navigate your emotions during divorce.

There are different options available to clients who hire a divorce coach. Options can range from face-to-face meetings, web meeting, to telephone conversations. By using technology for coaching sessions, such as mobile phones and Skype, clients can now shop around for divorce coaches outside of Pennsylvania as well.

Divorce coaching is a relatively new field and this means that there isn't much external control over the profession. As of yet, there are no universal standards, guidelines or ethics in place for the overall occupation. When interviewing a potential divorce coach, it's prudent to ask details on their background. Some divorce coaches will only be able to claim they have the experience of being divorced, which does not in and of itself necessarily qualify that person as a divorce coach. As always, it's "Let the buyer beware".

Some individuals may feel that a divorce coach is a luxury that they cannot afford. However, the tools learned through a divorce coach can save you future aggravation, time and money. A divorce coach can teach couples how to communicate effectively, thus getting them to their goals more quickly and with less hassle. This includes going from a costly contested divorce to a more amicable uncontested divorce.

If you are considering a divorce coach, then it's recommended that you hire him/her as early as possible into the divorce process. Some individuals will want to wait to see how the divorce process by going it alone, only to find themselves in desperate need of coach. Waiting to bring a divorce coach on the scene gives serious risks to high tensions, severe communication problems and a longer wait in resolving issues that come with getting a divorce.

Hiring a divorce coach is a highly personal decision. We suggest you do some research online and interview a few different divorce coaches before hiring one. If you hire one or have had experience with a divorce coach, we invite you to share you experience in the comments section below.