Divorce may be the biggest life challenge you ever face. What do expert coaches recommend you do to prepare? We consulted with 21 Certified Divorce Coaches to share their #1 tip for how to prepare for divorce.  Check out their great advice below!

What’s your #1 tip for how to prepare for divorce?

Cherie Morris

The #1 tip for how to prepare for divorce is to start today to gather information and become an informed participant in the process. This requires a mindset for success. Achieving this perspective may require you to access feelings and skills that you may previously have avoided or did not have. A divorce coach can help with both. I will stand by your side, each step of the way, as you make all of the difficult choices surrounding the decisions in divorce, and will recommend additional resources as needed. You do not need to do this alone. You can thrive after divorce and I can show you how to empower yourself to do sso.

To learn more about Cherie:

Laura Bonarrigo

Do your emotional work. Understand why you are going through your divorce on an emotional level. It is your “modern day rite of passage” not just a fight, not just a headache, not simply “something to get through.” When you understand why you’re growing through this experience, all the other practical decisions are easier!

To learn more about Laura:

Karen Mode Lightfield

My #1 tip to prepare for a divorce is to quietly meet with an attorney while contemplating a divorce to see how things might play out for them and their unique situation if they do file. I also advise those considering divorce to check reviews, ask others that are divorced for referrals, and interview potential attorneys until they find one they can work well with through each step of the process.

To learn more about Karen:

Suzan Pearlstein

Our number one tip for preparing for divorce is to take the time to get clear about your values.  You must know what is most important to you and define what you stand for.  Once you identify  what your real priorities are it will  give you purpose and help you make decisions during and after the divorce that will move you in a positive direction to a new and better life.

To learn more about Suzan:

Kerry Porter

You must take control of your divorce process. When meeting with an attorney for the very first time, you should already have an outline of your strategy in mind, as well as a detailed, written plan on paper. Preparation is the key to ensuring that time, effort and money is not wasted, hiring a Certified Divorce Coach can prepare you.  Just as many couples getting married claim to save substantially by working with a wedding planner, hiring a Divorce Coach could be the best investment that you make, helping you to narrow down your options, organize your thoughts, and create a plan which will save you time, stress, and legal fees.

To learn more about Kerry:

Martha Bodyfelt

Learn how to plan and set goals for yourself. Divorce is overwhelming because you are stressed and filled with emotion, which it makes it hard to look beyond the day-to-day drama. But identifying what you want for yourself in the next week, the next month, the next three months, the next six months, even the next year, and listing those goals out puts you back in control of your life.  Once you identify what you hope to achieve, write down the steps to get there. When you take these steps, your stress and fear decrease. Your confidence starts to return. And you realize just how strong you are.

To learn more about Martha:

Mondana Nikoukari

“Owning” your divorce process from the beginning insures satisfaction about its terms many years later. Therefore, planning for your divorce should follow a process of carefully thought out decisions that reflect your long term future goals. Gather a support team of professionals you trust to be your sounding board and cheerleaders for the various facets of the divorce process.  Divorce coaches, financial experts, parenting coordinators, therapists and attorneys can educate you on the many paths and solutions that can make weighty decisions along the way clear, accessible and have successful long term outcomes.  In the long run, these supportive divorce services can save you money and personal anguish for years to come by helping you prioritize the things that are most important in your future.

To learn more about Mondana:

Angela Ianuale Shanerman

My best recommendation to anyone struggling or feeling stuck in their relationship, would be to work with a Certified Divorce Coach like myself. As your divorce coach, I am your thinking partner and champion for you, because you are the expert of your life. In the coaching process, you are going to gain more clarity and confidence in your decision-making, be able to really focus on your concerns, be heard in a safe nonjudgmental environment, so that you really have the best possible outcome. Every area of your life is at stake and impacted from the decisions you make (family, finances, children, parenting, career, etc.), how could you possibly go at it all alone!

To learn more about Angela:

Kira Gould

I strongly believe that knowledge is power, and that information about your financial situation and the divorce process will serve you well as you move through the dissolution of your marriage. But even more importantly, I encourage you to create some time and space to get in touch with who you are, and how you want to move through your divorce. What are your values? How do you want to be seen during and after your divorce? What are your intentions? To be collaborative, compassionate, financially responsible, present with your children? Get a journal and write some of this out. Get clear on what your priorities are. This act of journaling and gaining clarity can help be your touchstone and reminder when faced with any tough decision — of which there may be many when going through divorce.

To learn more about Kira:

Kimberly Mishkin

As coaches, we help our clients understand that divorce is not solely a legal dilemma, nor is it just a financial question — it is a whole life challenge.  It’s vital that you get educated, yes legally and financially, but also practically and emotionally as well.  This is not the time to go it alone, the decisions are too big and important — you must look for someone to guide you, to take your hand and to lead you as you navigate this difficult terrain.

To learn more about Kimberly:

Sharon Qualls

Divorce can overwhelm your whole life.  One of the most important things to do once you have decided to move forward with divorcing is put together your team.  More and more people are seeing the value of a divorce coach as part of their professional team, providing clarity and focus, saving them money and time. Coaches help you choose the right professional team for your situation, your attorney and your CDFA, with a plan and these three professionals, you are on the path to creating a secure future beyond divorce.

To learn more about Sharon:

Carron Nicks

No one is ever prepared for the length of time a divorce will take. And this is not always due to recalcitrant parties or obstructionist attorneys. Courts are clogged, and the process takes time: petition and answer, discovery, mediation, child evaluations, all take more time than you expect. I tell clients two years. If it takes less, they feel they’ve accomplished something.

My #2 tip for preparing for divorce: Consider collaborative divorce, even if you feel like you’re giving up money or ground to your spouse. The process will take less of a toll on you, your family, and often your finances. And, if you have children, it will foster a sense of cooperation that will serve you well as you co-parent.

To learn more about Carron:

Pearl Flax

Take a deep breath, slow down and focus on what is most important. Your health and sanity are always of utmost importance in life, yet many people going through divorce neglect this known fact and allow pressure and stress to get to them. Before even entering the process promise yourself that you will walk this path slowly, take your time and listen to your subconscious mind and body. Educate yourself, try and do as much research as possible before making any rash decisions that you will later regret.

To learn more about Pearl:

Cindy Holbrook

Get a good solid support team because you are in for a wild emotional roller-coaster ride. Your support team will enable you to go get clear on what you want, make the divorce process as pain free as possible for everyone involved, save you time and money, and guide you as you transition into your newly single life. At the very least your support team should include an attorney, a certified divorce financial analyst and a divorce coach, so that you can begin to create the next chapter in your life – a life where you know peace and happiness.

To learn more about Cindy:

Robin Gardner

There are many points to consider when preparing for divorce since preparation is key, but I believe the most important tip overall is to create a healthy inner state of mind along with good self-care.  Your mindset is the one thing you have the ability to control, which will determine the type of divorce that you have.  This calls for you to be emotionally prepared and less reactive, which benefits communication and decision-making.  The right state of mind requires you to stay focused on your goal and create a plan for your life that you will need to get in order, which includes access to important documents.

Having the proper mindset also means being informed by doing research so that you aren’t blindsided by unforeseen facts and circumstances.  To ensure a healthy emotional state, establish a support network that includes trusted friends and family, therapists, coaches, etc. Remember to honor and support yourself every step of the way with plenty of love, self-confidence, and self-care.  Keep your eye on your future dreams and visions, and if you’re feeling overwhelmed…just BREATHE.

To learn more about Robin:

Emily Metzendorf

My #1 tip for how to prepare for divorce is to remember you are not alone and don’t be afraid to ask for help! Create a team of loyal, non judgmental, supportive friends and family and professionals- lawyer, mediator, coach, therapist, financial advisor, etc.- who make you feel safe, secure, heard and cared for. Then, after you have chosen them, use them to help guide you and support you through the process. Lastly, remember there is a happy chapter 2 awaiting you!

To learn more about Emily:

Hanna Perlberger

Having transitioned from being a divorce lawyer for over 25 years to mediation and divorce coaching, I am saddened by how many clients get hijacked by their attorneys who drive the process for their own agendas.  And so my number #1 tip is to hire a divorce coach who can discuss all of the alternative options for resolution, and should it be necessary to go the traditional route, to become empowered in how to hire the right attorney for you, to avoid the common emotional pitfalls of bad decision making, and to make choices that are aligned with your best self and that give you peace of mind.

To learn more about Hanna:

Valerie Cherneski

The best way to prepare for divorce is to start as you mean to go on. This means that you take the time to understand what your values are, and who you are at your core. It is this version of you that you come back to at every twist and turn — and there will be twists and turns — to keep you grounded.  This could be one of the most difficult tests of your life, and if you can answer the question, “Who do I want to be right now?” in every tough scenario, you will be able to hold your head high and move through the divorce process with integrity and dignity.  Your values will guide you when you do not feel you have the strength to guide yourself.

To learn more about Valerie:

Lisa McNally

Divorce Journaling is an absolute “must do” for anyone facing a divorce who wants to emerge victoriously emotionally, psychologically and procedurally as it relates to the divorce itself.  Divorce Journaling is a method of recording what’s on your mind in a private place meant to be viewed by you only.  It can encompass your thoughts, emotions, ideas, wants, needs, fears and anything else that’s of importance to you. In addition to helping you prepare your mindset for what’s to come in your divorce, Divorce Journaling will help you to clarify and manage your thoughts and feelings, reduce your stress, build your confidence, heal from within and free up valuable real estate in your mind, enabling you to remain mentally uncluttered and focused.

To learn more about Lisa:

Cynthia Bacheller

Don’t communicate or make decisions when you are emotional. Instead, give yourself permission to take the time you need to calm down. To do this: 1) Pay attention to your emotions when communicating with your ex/co-parent; 2) Teach yourself to notice these feelings by reminding yourself to pay attention to these feelings and reflect on what is causing them; 3) Specify a timeframe to your ex/co-parent for when you will get back to him/her; 4) Intend, and do your very best to, stay within that timeframe; and 5) Seek the support you need to work through your feelings and make decisions that will ensure your family thrives.

To learn more about Cynthia:

Marlene Bizub

My one piece of advice for divorcing parents is to not automatically think that they have to hire attorneys and litigate in order to become divorced.  Who one selects when they choose an attorney is important too.  There are collaborative attorneys.  Don’t feel as though this has to be a contentious process—because it doesn’t!

To learn more about Marlene:

Here is a bonus gift for you, don’t forget to download your free guide on how to avoid the top 10 mistakes you want to avoid during your divorce.

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