It’s Time For A Professional Divorce Coach

 Jacqui Atcheson
October 28, 2020

It’s Time For A  Professional Divorce Coach.

Jacqui Atcheson

I met my ex-husband in 1976 as a divorced father of 2 girls. I watched what he and his ex-wife did to these precious little angels as bitter, angry divorced parents. They had nowhere to turn, as there were no resources back then. 

The practice of law regarding divorce just centered on the law. What about children, families, emotions; why didn’t they have a place for struggling, soon to be ex-spouses to learn new skills, and understand the impact on the children and the new family unit that was being formed.

I always knew there had to be a better way.

After my own divorce, and years of having to support a family, and working as a divorce mediator since the mid-90’s, I researched divorce coaching.  I noted that many folks called themselves divorce coaches because they were therapists, lawyers, coaches or just regular folks that went through divorce and wrote an e-book. None of them had credentials. 

As a divorce mediator,  I truly understood divorce and felt it was important not to hang a shingle in this realm until I understood more; due to the complexity, emotions and family dynamics surrounding divorce.  With research, I found Pegotty and Randy Cooper of the CDC Certified Divorce Coach®.  Finally, I had a place to learn how to train and work as a credentialed divorce coach  in 2014.  I’ve written this post with their insights and input.  I will walk you through what it means to be a divorce coach, the credentials required to be a CDC Certified Divorce Coach® and, what you should look for in choosing a Divorce Coach when going through a divorce.

CDC® coaches offer both great value for their clients and to other professionals working with a client. The CDC Certified Divorce Coach® provides services according to a professional standard. We follow core standards such as “Standards of Ethics and Professional Responsibility”, Respecting our Boundaries with the other professions, standards of Coaching Core Competencies approved by the International Coach Federation (ICF), a Professional Continuing Education requirement (sixteen hours every two years), and Partnering with the Public through a formal “Grievance Procedure.” Regulations, for the certification, are filed with the governments of the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

This certification was started several years ago after surveying hundreds of Attorney –represented people who said, “I wish I had a divorce coach during my divorce.” The training is live, interactive adult experiential learning. There are ten (10) professional instructors offering a multidiscipline approach to the training. There are thirty-two (32) training modules. The training happens over sixteen (16) weeks. Additionally, the certification candidates experience a Mentor Program and a Peer Coaching Program, along with learning-in-action assignments, and more.  Overall, there are two hundred twenty (220) training hours.

There are additional requirements upon application for certification. All of this results in a dual certification, namely, CDC Certified Divorce Coach® and CDC Divorce Transition and Recovery Coach®. 

Divorce coaching is a flexible, goal-oriented process designed to support, motivate, and guide people going through divorce to help them make the best possible decisions for their future, based on their particular interests, needs, and concerns.

CDC® coaches understand what is meant by the unauthorized practice of law and how not to practice law, even by accident. 

CDC® divorce coaches have different professional backgrounds.

  • Twenty percent (20%) of the CDC® coaches are Family Lawyers.
  • Twenty percent (20%) of the CDC® coaches are Psychologists and Therapists of various descriptions.
  • Twenty percent (20%) are a combination of non-lawyer mediators and financial professionals such as: CPAs and other divorce financial professionals.
  • The remaining forty percent (40%) are a diverse group, including, medical doctors, retired nurses, educators, clergy members, and others.

Divorcing Moms and Dads often refer to their divorce as a lonely, frightening, frustrating, stressful, hurtful, traumatic transition for them. People often feel overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. There is high value in having access to a skilled personal thinking partner.

Here’s how a CDC® can help:

  • A CDC® coach helps reduce the trauma so a client can recover more easily.
  • A CDC® coach helps make the divorce process a little kinder and gentler, especially when there are minor children involved.
  • A CDC® coach offers a safe harbor from the divorce storm by providing a safe, supportive, non-judgmental, and patient process, while helping the client to gain their own clarity and confidence to manage their way forward.

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