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Divorcing? A coach can help

When people in Louisiana get married, they often hire a wedding planner. However, some people are also finding that when going through a divorce, a planner or coach can be extremely helpful in an often stressful situation.

The idea of a divorce coach dates to the early 2000s when professionals started adding the service to their offerings, whether financial planners, psychotherapists or others. One woman who used a divorce coach said that she leaned on hers to provide support as she and her husband split their possessions and time with their pets.

Now, some people even see a divorce coach for different specialties, such as raising a child together. When hiring a divorce coach, check the person's credentials and review the professional's specialty to make sure it matches a need. Find someone with specialized training, not just someone who has been divorced before.

Here are some of the things divorce coaches can help with:

  1. Giving advice before you see a lawyer: Divorce coaches often team with attorneys to offer different perspectives than lawyers have. Clients must make sure not to take the advice of the coach as legal gospel. That is the role of the lawyer.
  2. Support: A coach helps a person go through the process in an objective way. Friends, especially those who have been divorced, often talk their friend who is divorcing into some unnecessary infliction of pain on an ex. In this role, the coach does not provide therapy or legal advice but rather guides the client into setting goals and figuring out how to achieve them.
  3. Managing tasks such as paperwork: Some coaches can help with paperwork and other help between spouses, such as settling child support or taxes.

People who choose to use a coach must remember that the coach cannot do everything and is not a substitute for legal or emotional counsel. Still, it does help to talk to a professional who might be able to let them know what to expect and what needs to be accomplished in a divorce.

Source: Reuters, "Divorce Coach: 3 Things A Divorce Coach Can Do For You," Geoff Williams, Sept. 19, 2012

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