After many years working as a divorce mediator, how would you describe your experience?
Being a divorce mediator is an awesome responsibility and I believe I served people well in that role over the years. Mediation can be an effective dispute resolution process. Many judges, on the other hand, have told me that divorce mediation has not lived up to its promise. And maybe there was an initial unrealistic expectation, with every case automatically ordered to mediation in my State, thinking this was going to be the best way to settle these cases out of court. Of course, what happened, according to the judges, was that divorce mediation is not very effective during “hard ball” litigation cases. That opened the question in my mind, what would be another process to aid these cases. It was not immediately apparent. There is collaborative law and other dispute resolution processes. But something was still missing.
Any other observations about mediation as a service to people in divorce?
Often, one of the parties would come to my office and decide they wanted to hire me as the mediator. Their spouse would want to use someone else or their attorney would express that they always use their favorite mediator on their cases. I would simply lose the client.
Did you ever find that missing dispute resolution process?
During the Great Recession in 2009, when divorce was in the “deep freeze”, I took a course in becoming a financial coach. That was when the lightbulb went on. Divorce Coach! Coaching, as defined by the International Coach Federation, could be adapted to divorce. Of course, somebody would have to develop this divorce coaching process as a professional standard. I looked around and found the program I needed. I became a divorce coach.
How is that working out for you?
What I found was I stopped losing clients. I have many more clients as a divorce coach than I ever had as a mediator and I charge the same hourly rate. Now I notice that many of my lawyer and therapy colleagues are also becoming divorce coaches.
Leveraging Your Expertise to Become a Divorce Coach
You are welcome to join us for a mini-training session about divorce coaching – what it is, why clients value it, and how it can impact decision making during divorce. This is a way to leverage your experience to make a bigger difference for those going through divorce. Come and explore with us. Register for your preferred Friday at 12 noon ET:
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