January has been dubbed "National Divorce Month", with Google searches and divorce inquiries on the rise for all things separation and divorce. Most divorce professionals agree that couples are reluctant to separate before the holidays and ruin their last Christmas as an intact family. If there were already rumblings of unhappiness, then likely the stress of the holidays added to the demise. Additional differences over the budget, extended family drama, the need to make this holiday even more special than the last, adding the continuing bickering over lights, burnt dinners, and a multitude of events to attend. It's just all too much and takes its toll. Sadly, it culminates in internet searches and phone calls to attorneys' offices in the new year.
So if you are in this space, you are in the company of so many others. But before you contact an attorney to start hashing out the details over the china and dishes, take a minute to slow down. It's best not to hurry into any quick decisions about how to move forward. It may even be an opportune time to reach out to a divorce coach to help you wade through the process.
A divorce coach can be thought of as a project manager for your divorce. Instead of handing over a sizeable retainer to the first attorney on the list or the recommendation from dear Aunt Sally, talk with a divorce coach, who may be able to steer you in a variety of options. Only about 5% of all divorce cases go to court to be decided. The other 95% are finalized out of the courtroom before a judge rules on the house, kids, and retirement funds. Finding the right divorce specialist can save you time and money. Divorces are done in several different ways and perhaps finding an alternative dispute resolution will be kinder to your emotions, kids, and wallet. And this is just one way a coach may be of assistance.
For my clients, I work with them through weekly online sessions. It allows them to schedule at their leisure, when they have a private, quiet space. We work together in 3 overall areas as needed to help them focus on small, specific goals. The 3 areas we work on are: the divorce process, co-parenting issues and single mom life.
1) The divorce process encompasses everything from questions to ask when interviewing an attorney, mindset to help the process go more smoothly, and managing emotions and expectations when meeting with attorneys and mediators.
Having a pitbull of an attorney will be a waste of money if you and your spouse are amicable and could manage through mediation. If you have a high-conflict situation, it may be best to work on calming techniques before you head into a session where he is involved. A coach can help you navigate some of these areas.
2) Managing co-parenting issues can lessen the impact of divorce on the children, and on yourself as well. Working with a divorce coach to set boundaries, enhance communication, and manage life with your ex can reduce your stress and anxiety about necessary interactions.
What methods do you use to communicate? What hours are appropriate to text? When can the ex introduce the kids to a new significant other? If not spelled out in your parenting plan, these are the types of issues to work through to set boundaries and manage any confusion or expectations.
3) Single mom life can be fun, but absolutely exhausting. I love spending time with my kids; I'll take them as much as I can because I know they're only young once. But finding that right work-life balance is hard! Scheduling the kid's activities and finding time for yourself is a game of give-and-take. And working with women to find ways to manage their time, budgets and personal life are all apart of the this third area.
Though it's not an active part of the divorce process, it does support women as they transition from married to single life and give them the assistance they need to step out with confidence. Creating meal plans, finding budget apps and deliberating about dating opportunities all fall within this new phase of being a single mom and single woman.
So, if you are in the divorce process, know that there are various resources and professionals who are available to help you. Divorce is difficult and emotional, but reach out to those who can help you manage this season you are in with confidence, grace and ease.
If you would like to speak with a divorce coach about the issues you are facing, please feel free to set up a free consultation. I can be reached at www.divorce-confidante.com.