Why I became a divorce consultant
The question I get asked most often is “why did you decide to stop working as a solicitor?” The main reason involves the lady sitting next to me in this photo – my lovely mum.
My parents got divorced when I was in my late twenties. At the time I was practising as a family law solicitor. I had always prided myself on being understanding and empathetic towards my clients. However, it wasn’t until my own parents got divorced that I started to fully appreciate what an individual going through divorce really faces.
Being a solicitor wasn’t enough
As a family law solicitor my role had been to provide legal advice and representation to my clients. Solicitors who choose to specialise in family law, tend to have caring personalities and a desire to help people. However, I recognised that as a solicitor, I was limited as to the level of overall assistance I could provide my clients when they were going through such a challenging time in their lives.
What help was needed
Seeing my Mum struggle with the end of her marriage and her divorce experience was distressing as both a daughter and family law solicitor. I knew what she was facing with the legal process and the natural first step was for me to find an experienced solicitor to represent her which I did.
However, there was a great deal of additional help that she required before, during and beyond the legal process that would not have been naturally provided by the solicitor. There was so much more help that she needed and deserved to ensure her divorce experience was as manageable as possible and to put her in the best place to feel able to move on past the divorce.
The difficult issues that come up
People going through divorce face a complex range of issues. The significant ones (but this is by no means an exhaustive list) being:
- emotional challenges – processing the end of their marriage and life as they know it
- practical considerations – what physical changes will there be in their life – e.g. moving home
- financial factors to work through – possible changes to their lifestyle, budgeting
- children matters – changes to living arrangements and parenting plans
Where was the help?
It became evident to me, during my parents’ divorce, that there were no or little resources and/or professionals readily available who specialised in providing help in all these important areas. (Please note – this was 16yrs ago and I appreciate there is now much more help out there).
Whilst it was pretty straightforward for me to find my mum a family law solicitor, how could I ensure she received help with all the other equally important issues she faced? The easy answer was to provide this assistance myself. So that’s what I did!
The beginning of my divorce consultancy service
It became clear to me the value this type of additional support could provide for other people going through divorce and separation. I began to create my business plans for what became my divorce consultancy service. I decided I wanted to provide more than support during the legal process and so trained as a personal development coach (this provides me with essential additional skills to help support people on a personal level). I now use both my legal experience and coaching skills to provide support and guidance to people at all the different stages of divorce and separation.
Moving forward, I intend to continue to develop the services I provide to my clients to address all the different issues that may arise during their divorce journeys.
“Rhiannon was a huge help in getting me through a difficult time. I very much appreciated the sympathetic manner coupled with a real understanding of the practicalities involved. As a result, I was in a far better position to understand and assimilate advice from my solicitor.” – Mum