With the Help of a Divorce Coach, Your Impending Split Could Be More Efficient and a Lot Less Expensive

Breaking up is hard to do. 

“I want a divorce; I’m calling an attorney.” Approximately 50% of marriages end up in divorce, creating a $28 billion industry every year. But before you spend $5,000 on a retainer fee, consider a new option available to fraught couples: a divorce coach.

Manhattan Beach’s Jackie Miller helps clients figure out if divorce is their best option. “The divorce coach is like a sports psychologist—they grease the wheels of the process,” says Ann Grant, author of The Divorce Hacker’s Guide to Untying the Knot and a family law attorney. “It is a game changer because someone like Jackie can help their client treat the divorce like the dissolution of a business partnership. And that results in better decisions and less money spent on attorneys—which at the end of the day leads to happy clients.”

Emotions can easily get the better of any of us, similar to a train heading right toward you. Nonetheless, you can step out of the train’s way or choose to get smacked head-on. Do you want to pay your attorney $500 an hour to unload all the negative exchanges you have had with your ex? If so, it will cost you dearly, and in truth, the attorney just wants to get to the legal facts of the matter. Jackie helps couples avoid the train. 

“The longer you go down the road of telling your negative story, that road becomes a superhighway.”

Contested divorces in the South Bay cost both parties combined as much as $300,000. Attorneys bill their clients by billable hours. At $500 an hour, that will cost you $125 for a quick phone call or an email. With the help of a divorce coach, you can keep that bill lower—making the process more efficient due to less unnecessary contact with the attorney.

At its core, divorce is a legal business transaction. Jackie advises her clients on the three options of divorces: mediation, collaboration and litigation. Mediation, the least expensive, brings in a neutral mediator to listen to all the facts from both parties and offer advice. With collaboration, both parties hire an attorney and attempt to hash out the terms of the separation. Litigation, the most expensive route, occurs when the parties are unable to reach an agreement. Thus the futures of both parties are in the hands and will of a judge.  

Jackie’s mission is to avoid the litigation route, reinforcing a positive approach and offering her clients necessary emotional support. Jackie often assists her clients with hiring the right attorney—a crucial piece of the divorce puzzle. She says knowing the questions to ask your prospective attorney is crucial. If your attorney tells you everything you want to hear in the beginning and then you become dissatisfied with their services halfway through your divorce, it is extremely expensive to switch attorneys. 

Anticipating the potholes makes it easier when you step in them. “The longer you go down the road of telling your negative story, that road becomes a superhighway,” shares Jackie. “California is a no-fault state. Having a plan in place and focusing on the future is going to help you make the process efficient. The court system is anything but efficient, so any attempt to avoid litigation is better.”