Collaborative Law Coach/Divorce Coach
Collaborative Law recognizes that a divorce, business or family dispute is not just a legal event – it is an emotional event as well. Collaborative Law addresses this by the use of a “Collaborative coach” or a “Collaborative divorce coach.” For purposes of this article the term “coach” will be used for both divorce and non-divorce situations.
The Collaborative coach role is distinct to Collaborative Law. A coach is a mental health professional who helps clients navigate more effectively through the difficult aspects of a case. However, a Collaborative coach is not the same thing as a therapist. The main job of the coach is to help the client(s) address and work through anything that may be getting in the way of productively coming to an agreement
Here are a few things a Collaborative coach might help a client with:
- Understanding why a particular topic is difficult for the client to address and using tools to work through that.
- Work on effective listening.
- Work on effective communication.
- Helping the client become more comfortable speaking up for him or herself.
- Identifying the client’s interests (what’s important to the client).
- Considering the other person’s interests (what’s important to the other)
Every Collaborative Law case is a client-centered and custom-designed to suit the needs of the particular clients. Because each case is unique, each coaching arrangement is unique as well. Further, different Collaborative communities have different protocols for coaching. For example, in some cases just one client will have a coach. In other cases both clients will each have their own individual coach. Sometimes, both clients will use the same coach who acts kind of like mediator for the emotional components of the case. In some cases each client will have their own individual coach and there will be a neutral coach as well. Finally, many cases do not use any coaches at all.