By Julie Rountree • Certified Divorce Coach
If you practice marital and family law, you are already familiar with the stress the practice brings. It’s not for the faint of heart.
Having a certified divorce coach readily available to support your overwhelmed, emotional clients is not only a vital benefit to your clients but will change the dynamic of your family law practice.
Divorce coaches help clients navigate through the crisis of divorce, manage their frustrations and emotions and help them to be the best version of themselves during such a traumatic time.
They act as a “sounding board” or a “thinking partner” for family law clients, helping them manage conflict and gain clarity, confidence and the ability to transition into their new lives.
Divorce coaches recognize that while each case is different, family law clients can struggle with similar challenges such as discussing the decision to divorce with children and extended family, dealing with an uncooperative spouse, re-entering the workforce after years of being a stay-at-home parent, coping with their spouse’s infidelity and managing feelings of guilt, shame, and embarrassment of divorce.
Coaches help clients manage these issues by providing support as well as guidance, focus and tools for a peaceful transformation.
A coach also can help relieve the strain that spills over to attorneys, paralegals and other members of your legal team. Many family law practitioners report that a practice that was once fulfilling is now overwhelming due to the nature of ongoing, stressful litigation.
Clients are enduring the most traumatic time in their lives and attorneys are expected to be a counselor and a legal advocate.
I recall my years of practicing family law. I never truly felt prepared to manage clients’ issues when it came to the emotional part of divorce.
I found myself struggling with confused, intimidated and anxious clients who were so overwhelmed with court hearings, opposing counsel’s demands and organizing financial documents in addition to feeling the trauma of divorce.
My own career became hectic and demanding, and I started to lose focus of my reasons for practicing family law. As family lawyers, we have all seemed to accept that the emotional work is just another day at the office, but I am ready to reinvent the process, not just for my clients, but for law firms as well.
Imagine your client having access to a divorce coach when they are feeling anxious, overwhelmed, unfocused and emotional. With a coach’s support, the client is prepared to be a clear-thinking, focused client who is credible and confident.
Our supported clients are evolving into significant participants in litigation, asking meaningful questions during meetings with their attorneys and having realistic expectations of litigation.
Equipped with determined goals, clients can focus on the “business” part of divorce.
A coach’s service is essential to both the client and the smooth inner workings of a compassionate, supportive law firm.
We should make it a priority to help clients sort through the emotional part of their situation, become more involved in their cases, and thrive in their post-divorce lives once the lawyers and judges are out of the picture.
Divorce coaches are the missing piece of the family law puzzle.
Julie Rountree is owner of Divorce Coaching Solutions at 9428 Baymeadows Road in Jacksonville.
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