The Role of a Collaborative Divorce Coach

Written by Jann Glasser

Divorce is just as much a life transition as marriage.  Divorce is not about the division of property; it is about the division of lives.

Closure rarely comes with the decree of dissolution issued by the court.  Closure can come more easily though, through collaborative divorce, where the professional team helps to facilitate peacemaking rather than helping the transitioning couple to wage war.

Depending upon the needs of the couple, various professionals are selected to assist husband and wife to peacefully transition from their lives together into two separate households.  As soon as the couple has selected their team, a written contract is signed by both husband and wife and their respective collaborative attorneys to settle all issues OUTSIDE of court…

The role of coaches in the collaborative divorce process helps clients focus on these questions of ethics and conduct, rather than winning and losing.  Divorce is one of the most painful emotional experiences most people may endure in their lifetime.  Your divorce coach specializes in human behavior and family systems.  Their role in the collaborative divorce is to help with the transition process – to provide a soft landing spot to deal with the range of emotions that are inherent in any marital breakup.  Coaches can help clients determine what is truly important in the divorce process, for both parents and children. Coaches can also help release the negative emotional energy that can be part of any divorce, by helping develop skills in open communication, self-management and creative problem-solving.

As a part of the collaborative team, the divorce coach assists in separating highly volatile emotions so they do not interfere with sound decision making.  Together, goals are created to address each area of concern – highlighting strengths as well as identifying challenges.  A divorce coach’s goal is to  help a couple create co-parenting agreements that will WORK, by teaching them to focus on the real issues of the future, not past angers and disappointments. Coaches help couples to turn their issues into mutually shared interests, as they learn new problem solving skills for conflict resolution and post divorce parenting for the restructured “family apart.”

By choosing to embark upon the road of collaborative divorce, and with the assistance of a divorce coach to guide you along the way, my hope is that at the end of this journey, you can embrace the spirit of these words found in Genesis 13:8-9:  “Let there be no quarrel between us for we were once family; let us separate gently; if one goes north, may the other go south; if one goes east, may the other go west.  May your house be your house; and may my house be my house, and may strife and contentions not rule our hearts.”

Jann Glasser is a LCSW, LMFT, Certified Divorce Coach and trained mediator in Newport Beach, CA.  Jann has over 30 years of clinical experience with individuals, couples and families.  You can reach Jann at [email protected] or www.ocdivorcecoach.org