What is a divorce? It’s broadly defined as a legal dissolution of a marriage by a court. The process starts with one of the parties filing a petition and then solicitors help the couple reach a financial settlement. Well that all sounds very straight forward! But of course, it’s very rarely straight forward. Why is that? Divorce is listed as one of the most stressful life events you can experience. The legal process is crystal clear and well defined. A good solicitor will take your hand and guide you through it step by step. It’s everything that happens in the lives around the legal process that can lead to the real stress.

I work with my clients to help them work their way through everything that happens outside of the legal process. I use the word holistic because it means that the parts of something are intimately interconnected and need to be recognised as being part of the whole. In the case of divorce there are many parts. Before, during and after the legal divorce there are multiple parts and emotions.

For many the journey may start a long time before the legal process. The marriage starts to fail and one or both parties become aware of this. For many the final decision to divorce comes at the end of a long and emotionally stressful journey.

A divorce can be a melting pot of emotions. The primary ones being fear, anger and grief. Dealing with these emotions can be hard especially as you may also be taking responsibility for the emotions of those around you. I sit with my clients and help them decide what they need help and support with. For some it’s around making the final decision to divorce. With some clients my as role a wellbeing coach is what is needed. Together we focus in on them and make sure that they are as physically and emotionally strong as they can be. Other clients want me to be their guide through the whole process. I help them find a solicitor and attend any meetings with them. Taking notes and helping them with follow ups and paperwork.

Making plans around children can be challenging but probably the most important aspect of many divorces. As with everything I act as a guide and sounding board. Every family has unique circumstances. When you choose to end your marriage you need to find a way to remain a strong and united parental unit for your children. It can take time and emotions may be raw but there is always a way.

When the divorce is finalised, there can be a sense of almost anti-climax and a reality that life needs to move on. This can be a very unexpected response and cause anxiety around the future for a lot of people. A new version of life opens up before them and I like to try and help my clients embrace this with a sense of excitement and optimism!

Divorce is so much more than a legal process and every aspect of it should be recognised and given focus and support.

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