Terms like “quickie divorce” can lead someone to think that divorce is quick and easy and inexpensive. And sometimes it is all three.
But divorce is often complex. Emotionally, legally and/or financially.
I sometimes hear from people who have been “trying” to get what they describe as an uncontested divorce … for years.
They blame the delay on lack of funds to pay for an uncontested divorce.
In South Florida, the filing fee to the county’s clerk of courts is $409.
It is at least possible that other delaying factors are at work …
On one spouse. Or both. Whether or not they recognize it. Or choose to admit it.
And so it begins to get complicated. Even before the law or costs ever enter the picture. In such cases, it will only get a lot more complicated after they do.
Whether to divorce is a purely personal decision. It may be facilitated by a therapist.
But once the decision is made, various professionals may be of assistance in actually getting the divorce.
Attorneys, of course.
And, sometimes, what may be a hybrid of or bridge between the above professions: a divorce coach.
A divorce coach is still a relatively new profession. That really does not have one universally accepted definition. Or role. Or, for that matter, background and experience.
Sometimes a therapist, sometimes an attorney, sometimes both, sometimes neither.
At a high level, a divorce coach may help a spouse transition from an (unhappily) married person to a divorced person, a happily divorced person and/or a happily divorced person who is on a sound financial footing.
But the precise role of the divorce coach and scope or timeline for the divorce coach’s assistance varies from one divorcing spouse to another.
The divorce coach may be involved long before any divorce filing. They may be involved in reaching the decision to divorce. And in designing an overall life plan for transitioning successfully from married to divorced.
The divorce coach may also be involved in developing the legal strategy behind the divorce case. And the groundwork. Possibly before an attorney is ever hired.
A divorce coach may guide a spouse step by step through the legal process. Something that attorneys don’t always do. And clients don’t always want to pay legal fees for.
Or a divorce coach may guide a spouse step by step through the emotional component of the divorce. Or the financial aspects.
Or all of the above. And more.
A divorce coach may also guide a spouse step by step through the negotiation and settlement process in appropriate cases.
In some cases, some divorce coaches work with one spouse.
Some divorce coaches work with both spouses together. Facilitating an uncontested divorce.
Some divorce coaches will prepare the uncontested divorce paperwork for the couple.
Some divorce coaches will also represent the hiring spouse as counsel in a traditional divorce.
Of course, dispensing legal advice and / or providing legal representation require that the divorce coach also be a licensed attorney. Further, the roles and relationships must be made crystal clear to avoid conflicts of interest.
In appropriate cases, a divorce coach can be an invaluable partner (or team member) on the path to divorce.
For best results, it is important to consult a divorce coach early and together flesh out the role that you want your divorce coach to play in your divorce.