Coaching in Divorce

People going through divorce are finding creative new ways to get the legal information they need at prices they can afford. Coaching is one of the ways they’re using. This page is all about how it works.

Part of the process of taking control of your divorce is to understand what role you want your lawyer to play. If you’re like most people going through divorce, you’re exhausted. You long for clarity.

You want somebody else to take charge and take care of you. You want somebody else to negotiate for you, to tell you how to behave, and to tell you where to sign the agreement.

There are plenty of lawyers out there who relish this role and are set up to play it. I don’t, and you shouldn’t let me.

Most courtroom divorce lawyers (I call them gladiators in this web site) orient their lives around what happens in court. They spend their working days in the courtrooms of divorce judges, dealing with adversarial divorce. Their expectation is that most divorce cases will settle in the corridors of divorce court (“Heartbreak Hall”).

But if you’re like most people going through divorce, that’s not where you make your best decisions. You make your best decisions when you can think things over, check figures, bounce ideas off your accountant, or your friends, or even your mother, and generally stay in control of your decisions. Coaching, part of a larger concept called unbundling, helps you do that.

The fundamental idea of coaching is that most people don’t need somebody to do their negotiating for them.

  • What they need is good sound information that they can use to negotiate on their own.
  • What they need is a full exploration of the available alternatives when they’re stuck on a particular point.
  • What they need is a good solid understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of a proposal somebody is suggesting.
  • What they need are some suggestions for how they might negotiate with their spouse or their spouse’s lawyer to get what they want.

A good coach can do that, offering you a leg up without charging you an arm and a leg. With most coaches, you’ll pay for the time you actually use — no more, no less. You’ll pay on the spot, meaning you don’t sign a retainer agreement. When you finish with the coach, you don’t owe your coach any money, and the coach doesn’t owe you anything.

The next time you come back to see the coach, you’ll pay again. Simple. Clean. You pay for what you need. And you stay in control. If you need your coach to go to court on your behalf later, you can always work that out with a separate agreement.

It’s a good idea to prepare for your coaching session. I’ve included a sample coaching agreement if you’re interested. You can download and print it on your own letter so you and your coach can sign it.

If you want to use me as a coach for issues in Alabama, click here.

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