As published in The Florida Villager
A valuable aid in helping attorneys alleviate stress and burnout
The other day I received an email from an attorney asking me what the benefits of using a divorce coach were for him. He had read some of my articles about how I can help clients but not how my services benefited him as an attorney. Note to self, address that question in my next column, so here goes.
Family attorneys are constantly bemoaning the stress and drain on their time and energy during a case. Why is that? Could it be that they are dealing with clients whose emotions are all over the place; who only hear half of what they are saying; who are disorganized and vengeful as well as blowing up their emails and phones? They look to attorneys to alleviate their fear of the unknown, problem solve daily issues and hold their hand. Enter stage right the Divorce Coach.
First let me dispel the myth that a divorce coach is a threat and competes with an attorney, therapist or financial advisor. Each one of us has our own set of skills that are needed in the divorce process for our clients. We compliment not work against each other. There have been many cases where I have referred to a therapist and I help the financial advisor get all the documents he needs to have the most accurate financial accounting possible. For the attorney, my goal is to make his or her job less stressful.
In a nutshell, here are the benefits to an attorney working with a divorce coach:
– They hold the clients’ hands which frees up the attorneys to do the legal work
– They work on parenting plans
– They keep clients organized and on track
– They help clients gain clarity regarding their needs and concerns
– They alert the attorney to any pertinent issues to help keep the process moving
– They help clients with communication issues
– They help clients create a roadmap for the future
– The attorney can use the divorce coach as a go-to person to get clients to comply with documents and to discuss certain topics with clients before they come in for an appointment
– They brainstorm with the clients so they make better decisions and are prepared for their meetings with the attorney
If I had a dollar for every client that walked through my door disgruntled with his or her attorney, I would be writing this column from Tahiti. There appeared to be two main reasons, money spent and them feeling like they were just another number. By working with a divorce coach for non-legal issues, the clients actually saved money and felt listened to. Attorneys aren’t as mindful as they need to be only because they have been trained to look at the facts and the law but divorce is about two people that hear, see and feel things differently. The divorce coach helps the attorney in understanding this, which makes for a better client-attorney relationship.
Divorce coaches are invaluable in getting the spouses to communicate their concerns, wants and needs which in turn helps the attorneys reach a settlement. Divorce is taking on a more holistic approach, which is giving the clients a better chance to move forward in a more positive way. Utilizing a divorce coach not only helps the attorney manage stress and burnout, it helps the clients have a more positive divorce experience.