Divorce is one of the most stressful times in a person’s life, and the actions you take can have lifelong repercussions. That’s why it’s crucial to have the right team to guide you through the process. In addition, it’s just as crucial that your team is suited to your specific needs, be they emotional or practical.
For those who need a bit more than the support of family and friends, professional divorce coaching or consulting can help make things easier.
However, a divorce coach and a divorce consultant take on different roles for their clients, so it’s important to know the difference before deciding which one is right for you.
What Is Divorce Coaching?
A divorce coach is often a trained mental health professional, such as a therapist or psychologist, who is there to guide you through the emotional challenges of a divorce. In this case, your therapist is dedicated solely to the topic of divorce and its effects. They can start by answering the all-important question of whether a divorce is the right option for you.
While child custody and alimony are legal issues decided in a divorce, co-parenting and how a child copes with divorce are emotional issues that divorce coaching can help you sort through. You should also talk to a divorce coach if you fear your spouse may become hostile during proceedings, as that can take a heavy emotional toll.
Divorce proceedings are overwhelming, and a divorce coach is someone who has seen a lot of divorce, so they can mentor you through the process. They can help you sort through all your emotions and, most importantly, help you deal with all the possible outcomes of your decisions.
If you come to the conclusion that divorce is the right option for you and your family, your coach can then help you decide the proper divorce process, whether that’s mediation, litigation, or collaborative divorce.
What Is a Divorce Consultant?
The most important distinction between a divorce coach and a divorce consultant is that a consultant is a licensed attorney.
Instead of talking about the emotional impact of your divorce, a divorce consultant discusses legal specifics of your case and goes over a settlement offer with you. A divorce coach cannot review legal agreements with you.
A divorce consultant, or consulting attorney, is not like a traditional attorney who is on your case from start to finish. Instead they will look only at specific aspects of your case as you request.
A consultant is also a good person to have on your team if you are going through mediation. You can represent yourself in mediation, but it is a good idea to have a licensed attorney at your side to protect you from any legal jargon or confusing processes. As we’ve said, the repercussions of a divorce can last a lifetime, so the more help, the better.
If your divorce goes to litigation, a divorce consultant cannot represent you in court or act on your behalf. They are there to provide guidance when negotiating, and are best-suited to amiable couples who simply need legal explanations throughout the process.
Which One Do You Need?
Divorce coaching vs. consulting depends mostly on what stage you’re at in your divorce as well as your biggest concerns. And because a divorce coach and divorce consultant tackle two different jobs and have different expertise, there is no reason you cannot hire both if you feel that is right for you.
If your main concerns are mostly emotional and mental, such as deciding whether divorce is what you really want and what the best avenue is to achieve it, a divorce coach can help you sort through your emotions. A licensed attorney is not the person to ask for lifestyle advice or to discuss your fears with.
However, if you’re beginning divorce proceedings and are looking for legal advice—but not legal representation—a divorce consultant is a good fit for you. They understand the law surrounding your particular case and will protect your interests.
If you choose to hire both a divorce coach and divorce consultant, they can work together to facilitate a swift and agreeable outcome. Discuss your emotional concerns with your coach, such as how your spouse will behave when they have custody or your goals for co-existing following the divorce, and your consultant can help set those plans in motion.
Positive Divorce Consulting
No matter how agreeable a divorce may seem at the outset, it is still a stressful process, and having the right help at your side can ease that burden.
At Leap Frog Divorce, we’re committed to giving clients personalized guidance and support because a divorce is never one size fits all. We specialize in toning down conflict and always keep your emotional well-being in mind.
We pride ourselves on de-escalating tense situations and focusing on positive communication. Contact us today and see how our guidance can help you.