Psychologists rank divorce as the second most stressful life event. It is an emotional time even if the parties believe the divorce is in their best interest. Spouses often say things to each other they later regret from the stress and emotional intensity they are feeling.
In a Collaborative Divorce, the divorce coach is an important part of the collaborative team. The divorce coach helps the spouses deal with the overwhelming feelings that can get in the way of rational decision-making. The stress of this process, the feelings of grief, guilt and fear can interfere with the ability to make decisions during the divorce process.
The Role of the Divorce Coach in a Collaborative Divorce
The collaborative team establishes a framework through which each party feels they are mutually working towards an acceptable outcome. In this framework, the divorce coach assists the parties with communication, managing conflict, naming what is important to each of them and thereby helping them reach agreements.
Team meetings approach. During the collaborative team meeting, a divorce coach may remain silent until there is a disruption in the process, and the spouses are unable to move forward. The divorce coach may meet with one spouse separately for a short period to sort through the feelings from the decisions being made.
There may be a need for the individual or joint sessions to help the spouses process their feelings outside of the collaborative process. The coach is not providing therapy but is helping the parties make necessary decisions without fighting and resorting to litigation.
When children are involved. The divorce coach assists the parents to establish a parenting plan that best meets the needs of the children and each parent. The divorce coach asks the parents to view the divorce through the eyes of the children and consider what the children need moving forward. Each parent wants time with the children. Through the help of a coach, parents can learn how to accommodate each other and co-parent in the most productive way possible.