No one had really heard of divorce consultancy and divorce coaching when I launched my business in 2010, but it’s now much more widely recognised.
A divorce consultant and coach can serve many different roles within the divorce but generally, they provide emotional support and practical help to the client before, during and after their divorce.
The divorce coaching industry is not regulated at present and so divorce coaches and consultants vary greatly with their experience and knowledge. Many specialise in providing help in a particular area, e.g. divorce recovery coaching, support after leaving an abusive relationship, whilst others are more general and help with all the different issues and challenges that may come up for the client through the divorce process.
Divorce consultants like myself tend to have a legal background, having worked previously as a family law solicitor but many divorce coaches may also have previously been lawyers. When I left private practice, I also trained as a coach, so I use both sets of skills and knowledge to help and support my clients. I’m a divorce consultant and a divorce coach.
With our legal background, divorce consultants are in a strong position to provide support and guidance in the legal process itself, helping with understanding process and assisting with paperwork etc.
Divorce coaches and consultants do not provide legal advice. They are also not counsellors. Coaching involves a solution focused approach to providing support to a client, to help the client move forward from where they are now, to where they want to be. Some divorce coaches may have a therapeutic background, but this is specific to them and not a rule of thumb for divorce coaches generally.
Why would a client have a divorce coach AND a solicitor?
The work of the divorce consultant or coach complements that of the family law solicitor.
Coaches and consultants provide emotional support to the client which leaves the solicitor able to focus on progressing the legal case. Consultants particularly can also help with practical assistance with the client’s paperwork, e.g., Form E, Income Needs Schedules etc. Again, this frees up the solicitor to focus on more important chargeable work in the legal case.
Using a coach/consultant for this help would also save the client money as the charge out rate for them is lower than that for the solicitor. Clients appreciate the solicitor referring them to a professional who could help them save money on their legal costs, for assistance with non legal issues.
How does a divorce coach/consultant work?
Every consultant and coach have their own personal way of working, so this will vary. Most work on a 1 to 1 basis with their clients, working with only one of the couple. We work independently to the solicitor, the client having a separate working relationship with the consultant/coach, rather than us being hired by the solicitor(although I do receive lots of client introductions through solicitors and mediators).
Charging varies depending on the level of service and expertise of the coach or consultant. Many charge on an hourly rate which is much lower than the average solicitor, whilst others may charge for blocks of time, like standard coaching packages.
Many coaches only work remotely, via video, telephone and perhaps also text. Pre Covid, I did see clients face to face for many of the meetings, which worked well as they can leave the house (in which they may still live with their spouse), for the meeting.
I work with clients at all different stages of the divorce and separation process, but the majority of my clients start working with me at the very beginning. At that stage they haven’t yet embarked on the legal process and are probably still with their spouse. They might be considering separation or have decided to separate and want help to move forward. Before the pandemic, meeting new clients face to face was much more appropriate, as the client could leave the house for the meeting. Lockdown causes challenges with this and Zoom meetings whilst the spouse is in the same house, is not necessarily appropriate or possible.
If you have found the tips in this blog useful then you’ll find lots more in my eBooks, which you can purchase and download today.
If you’d like to work with me 1:1, for help preparing for your divorce/or support during or after the divorce process, please get in touch to find out how I can help.
Why I became a divorce consultant.