Elizabeth A. Dalton, J.
Consider all the months a couple spends planning their "perfect" wedding. Often the couple uses the services of a wedding planner, a caterer, a photographer, and other professionals to design a wedding day that is beyond their "fairy tale" dreams. It should be of no surprise that couples are choosing to hire professionals to assist them in designing a "good" divorce when the time comes to uncouple.
The American Bar Association is recognizing divorce coaching as a new profession to support divorcing couples. The ABA Section of Dispute Resolution defines divorce coaching as "a flexible, goal-oriented process designed to support, motivate, and guide people going through divorce to help them make the best possible decisions for their future, based on their particular interests, needs, and concerns." American Bar Association, Divorce Coaching, available at https://www.americanbar.org/groups/dispute_ resolution/resources/DisputeResolutionProcesses/divorce_ coaching.html (last visited May 30, 2017).
Divorce coaches come from a variety of professional backgrounds. Clients select a divorce coach based on their specific needs. For example, some divorce coaches are certified financial and tax planners. Others are mental health professionals, lawyers, or mediators with specialized training in assisting clients learn how to "consciously uncouple" in an emotionally healthy manner. If a couple has children, a co-parent coach can provide training in successful communication and problem-solving to assist them in raising their children together.
Acting as a divorce coach is distinctly different than acting in the role of a family law attorney and advocate. An attorney is an expert in all aspects of family law and is an essential advisor in protecting individual legal rights, interpreting the law, litigating disputes, and drafting stipulations and proposed court orders. A divorce attorney is not trained to "hand hold" a client through a divorce. A divorce coach is a support person who fills in the gaps. The coach explains...