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The trend toward hiring divorce coaches

More and more people are hiring specialists to help them achieve personal goals. New York residents invest in nutritional consultants and body sculpting trainers to keep fit. Advisers like these fulfill short-term and long-term needs and desires.

Divorce coaches are the latest trend in personal consultants. These individuals assist spouses with non-legal matters during the divorce process. Some divorce coaches specialize in handling emotional upheaval, while others are experts in co-parenting communication or finances.

Divorce coaches act as guides at a time when a lot of spouses are overwhelmed by decision-making. The job is new and remains loosely defined. The American Bar Association describes divorce coaches as supportive, goal-oriented motivators.

As valuable as they can be at the end of a marriage, divorce attorneys are not qualified to help clients deal with every aspect of divorce. Coping with emotional lows, spousal communication conflicts and even long-range tax implications are outside the purview of many lawyers. Fortunately, attorneys often are willing to point clients with these problems in the right direction, which today may include a divorce coach.

You've probably heard the term "divorce team" which includes a group of individuals who advise spouses on specific matters, like forensic accountants. Divorce financial planners are trained to help clients handle the economic transition of divorce and prepare for a financial future. Therapists and counselors work with spouses and other family members to deal with stressful life changes.

A team effort arms a spouse with information and coping skills that can be beneficial during negotiations about child support and custody, alimony and property division. It's not clear whether one-size-fits-all divorce coaches will become a regular part of these teams.

For now, no laws provide guidance for who is, and more importantly, isn't qualified to be a divorce coach. Feel free to ask your attorney whether he or she recommends a divorce coach for your situation.

Source: The Street, "Hiring a Divorce Coach Can Save You a Bundle," Kristin Colella, Sep. 18, 2015

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