Revealing the truth about divorce coaching

“What is divorce coaching?” Some of you might already have an idea – or at least think you do. The real answer might just surprise you though. In this article, I want to inform you and lift the lid on divorce coaching.


If I start with me – I am an accredited breakup and divorce coach supporting individuals emotionally and practically to recover from any kind of breakup, separation or divorce, however complex. My unique personal experiences and expertise gained through my training allow me to help my coaching clients move more fully through the trauma step by step, feeling supported with tools and techniques that will really help them gain clarity, take control of their situation, make good decisions, reduce the negative emotions, identify past behaviours, and most importantly move towards the future they want and deserve.

Divorce and relationship breakdown is thought to be the second most traumatic life event after the death of a loved one.

Anyone who has ever separated from a partner, however casual or serious the relationship, will understand the utter heartbreak, confusion, rejection, shock, anger, guilt or loneliness you may feel.

There is also the practical impact of looking after children, finances, where to live, the legal process of divorce to name but a few consequences. Family breakdown can also have a huge impact on someone’s ability to work which has a knock-on effect on all of society – recent research by The Positive Parenting Alliance* showed that 90% of respondents stated that separation affected their ability to work.

Thankfully, reaching out and asking for help for all sorts of issues like addiction, grief or our careers is becoming more commonplace and less stigmatised. So, why not relationship issues? Sometimes in society, it seems that the dramatic impact of matters around romantic relationships is not always taken quite as seriously as other life-changing events. This does finally seem to be changing with much more publicity now being given to the far-reaching, often traumatic repercussions of breakup and divorce.

So, how do you know if divorce coaching may help you? The answer may not be as obvious as you first think.

1. Do I need to be married to see a divorce coach?

No! A divorce coach sees clients who have just been casually dating, to those co-habiting, to those married for decades and everything in between.

Whilst all clients will either be thinking about, going through or have been through some kind of relationship breakdown, this is where the similarity ends. Every client is unique with different needs and will experience relationship breakdown and divorce in different ways.

People show up in life with their own map of the world – based on their upbringing, relationship history, culture, job, health, age, and influences, and it is the job of a qualified divorce coach to look at the individual needs of the client sitting in front of them, with no judgment, and help them move forward.

Client situations can include:

  • divorce
  • breakup
  • affairs
  • short passionate encounters
  • long relationships
  • high conflict relationships
  • domestic abuse
  • repeated relationship patterns
  • commitment issues
  • helping clients support their children through divorce and other parenting issues
  • relationships where different attachment styles are involved
  • a relationship that ended years ago which they cannot move on from
  • in a new relationship but triggered by past relationship issues/behaviours
  • preparation for dating

...the list goes on! 

2. Will I still need a family lawyer if I see a divorce coach?

A divorce coach is not a lawyer. Divorce coaches often collaborate with other experts on behalf of their clients to get the best outcome in a timely way.

As with all legal matters arising from a relationship breakdown/divorce, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Some people going through a divorce never need to engage a family lawyer but this has nothing to do with whether someone is seeing a divorce coach or not. Each situation is individual and should be looked at in this way.

An accredited divorce coach is part of your ‘breakup support team’. The approach of having the right support around you when you’re navigating a breakup or divorce is invaluable. This ‘team’ may include a family lawyer, an independent financial advisor, a trusted friend, an exercise buddy, a divorce coach, or anyone that the individual client feels would be useful. This may evolve over time and can really help reduce the negative emotions, get clarity, feel empowered and take small steps forward.

3. My separation/divorce was a long time ago. What good is a divorce coach to me?

As a breakup and divorce coach, I see clients at all stages:

  • Before the breakup has even happened. Clients may need some support in deciding whether to stay or go. In these circumstances, maybe there has been infidelity or addiction issues or they just do not know if they love their partner anymore and want to explore this with a neutral professional – the divorce coach.
  • Getting help after the separation has happened or in the aftermath and through the divorce process is a big part of a divorce coach’s caseload. The issues arising are numerous and differ from client to client. Obviously, breakups and divorce take a huge emotional toll, which should not be underestimated. A divorce coach can help work with clients on dealing with the associated heartbreak, anger, sadness, hopelessness, rejection, and fear. Accredited divorce coaches have expertise in numerous areas of this post-separation stage, including an understanding of the overall divorce process, co-parenting, how to decide where to live, and getting back into the workplace.
  • Finally, clients can seek help after the breakup and divorce is finalised, sometimes years after. Here clients are often ‘stuck’ and just cannot move on. Perhaps they watch their ex moving on and they feel like they still love them; or issues have arisen around parenting with their ex, or they want help dating and how to have healthy relationships.

4. I have high conflict or domestic abuse in my relationship, and I need some help.

Divorce coaches with the correct level of training and expertise can help support individuals going through breakups with difficult partners.

Sadly, I see all too many relationships which involve domestic abuse or conflict. Clients dealing with a 'difficult' relationship often need a coach with a more advanced skill set and a more technical level of support. There may be additional risks involved here for clients which require expertise to best help them, for example, the way we discuss boundaries when dealing with an abusive ex-partner is different.

All divorce coaches will have their own skill sets, domestic abuse is one of my specialisms, I have a master accreditation and experience which means I work with confidence in this area. Part of my training was working with DASH, a domestic abuse charity. Not every divorce coach may feel confident to dive deeper into these issues with clients, and so it is worth discussing this at the outset.

5. I want advice about dating and how to have a healthy relationship in future – can you help?

Yes. This is a part of my role that is key because, for me, the breakup or divorce is really just the beginning of the story.

The real difference comes in helping clients understand what a healthy relationship looks like and how to recognise good potential partners in future. This comes through working with clients on gaining self-belief, knowing their worth and valuing themselves, setting healthy boundaries, spotting red flags, listening to gut instinct, putting in ‘safety nets’ around dating, learning to trust themselves with all of the above and so most importantly they can walk away if a relationship is not serving them or something just does not ‘feel right’ with a date.

My life as a breakup and divorce coach is varied, and busy, and it certainly does not just revolve around helping married people get divorced! If after reading this you think a divorce coach could help you, then please do email me and let's have a chat about your situation. It is hugely rewarding to be trusted by clients as they come out of broken relationships and to help them prepare for future love again should they want it.

*Positive Parenting Alliance Survey January 2023

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Cirencester, Gloucester, GL7
Written by Vanessa White, Relationship and Divorce Coach (Master Accreditation)
Cirencester, Gloucester, GL7

Hi, I am Vanessa, an Accredited Relationship and Divorce Master Coach. I attract clients experiencing a broad range of challenges in the area of relationships, separation and divorce.  My expertise and background in the area of relationship and divorce is extensive, based on my Accreditation an...

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