Saturday, March 29, 2008

What You Can Learn from a Divorce Coach

I have just run across another blog about Collaborative Law. It is from Maryland and it has some really good posts about Collaborative Law. The posts show some of the variations in how the Collaborative process is used in various states. The blog is called Divorce Without Dishonor and is written by Michael A. Mastracci of Baltimore. I recommend that you check it out. Although in Texas we usually utilize a single,neutral divorce coach/communication coach/mental health professional, that person's role is virtually the same as what Michael explains for Maryland. The following is a post from that blog:

"In a collaborative divorce, each spouse usually hires their own divorce coach to help them learn to communicate and negotiate more effectively. These coaches are an integral part of the collaborative divorce team. They teach life skills that will form the basis for your post-divorce relationship with your spouse. If you have children, the skills learned from your divorce coach can make co-parenting go more smoothly after the divorce.

"Your divorce coach will provide you will skilled help in:

Managing your emotions appropriately.

  • Separating your thoughts from your feelings.
  • Thinking through emotionally charged issues.
  • Learning to talk about difficult problems in a businesslike manner.
  • Setting short and long-term goals for yourself, your children and your co-parenting relationship.

"Conflict management, creative problem-solving, negotiation and productive communication are among the valuable life skills you can learn with the help of your divorce coach. Your coach can help you identify bad habits and problem areas in your relationship with your spouse and learn to communicate more productively. Divorce coaches help you and your spouse focus more clearly on your individual goals and the positive changes that can come about as a result of your divorce."

Again, the description is extremely similar to what our joint neutral expert does here in Texas. The bottom line is that Collaborative Law provides an important tool that is almost never used in litigation, and the stress, fighting and destruction of relationship are the harmful results of that deficiency in litigation. In Tarrant County, Texas, we use the single neutral coach more and more, and the benefits are apparent. Talk to your Collaborative attorney and find out how you can work with a coach to help you reach a successful resolution through Collaborative Law.

2 comments:

Bill said...

I am all for doing whatever it takes to assist people to conclude divorces with both parties leaving under their best possible conditions with the least time, money, and emotions spent to arrive there. When each party has their own true coach who is totally focused only on them, to assist each party individually to dig in and discover what they really want for the future, as opposed to getting even, focusing only on winning, etc. then the possibilities for successful separation go way up. Both parties become clear, confident and practical. Sure there will be some conflicts, but they will be far fewer, and will be much less difficult to resolve, because trade offs will be possible.

But a true coach does not teach skills, give advice, or tell the client what to do. That is for counselors, teachers, consultants (attorneys) and trainers. Coaches rarely provide any of these services, and if they do, they most always loose their ability to continue providing the objective equal partnership complete support as a true coach.

I have to disagree with your statment: "Conflict management, creative problem-solving, negotiation and productive communication are among the valuable life skills you can learn with the help of your divorce coach. our coach can help you identify bad habits and problem areas in your relationship with your spouse and learn to communicate more productively.” This is what marriage counselors do.

However I do agree with this part of your statement “Divorce coaches help you and your spouse focus more clearly on your individual goals and the positive changes that can come about as a result of your divorce." But, only when each spouse has his and her own personal coach. One person cannot coach both at the same time.


I bring this to your attention, so that you will have a much more accurate picture of what personal coaches really do and do not do. Just like you would not want others to write in their blogs that divorce attorneys will provide therapeutic counseling and advice to help clients overcome troubled past experiences.

jordhy said...

I recomend this type of divorce with all my heart. It's simple, relatively fast and lest cumbersome than an full blown legal separation.

Mediation is available in all US states and it can greatly improve your quality of life during a divorce process.

http://www.wdalaw.com