Divorce And Parenting Coaches Help Save Money

The collaborative team process is more than just trying to determine the clients’ legal rights and obligations according to the law.

The process looks at the individual needs of the family and tries to find something that works for them so that everyone feels that the resolution is reasonable and fair. Because the process is significantly different, lawyers need to have gone through special training to be able to practice in this area. As part of the collaborative team process, we encourage our clients to work with other skilled professionals to help them towards a resolution.

Working with a divorce coach can save our clients a lot of money as well as help the resolution process. In any separation or divorce, there are tremendously strong emotions. People feel sad or angry or guilty or fearful of their future and those emotions can often have a tremendous impact on the negotiations. What we’ve seen in the past is many cases in which people have let their emotions take over and the results are very messy and expensive divorces. We suggest to our clients that, if they invest a little bit of money in working with a divorce coach, they’ll be able to work through their emotional issues in that office instead of in a lawyer’s office and, therefore, spend a lot less money in legal fees. The divorce coach’s role is to help prepare the clients for the negotiations emotionally as well as teaching them communication techniques and skills so they’re very effective in the negotiation process and that they won’t be sidetracked by their emotions.

And, in addition, we will encourage clients as part of the collaborative team process to retain a parenting coach. This person will sit down with both parties and sometimes the children as well and help them come up with a parenting plan that is best suited for their family and their children. The parenting coach is not a lawyer but rather has special training in the developmental needs of children, especially those going through a separation and divorce. They are able to help educate parents as to the needs of their children at various ages and how to cope with circumstances that they might be facing now and in the future.

There’s a tremendous educational advantage to working with a parenting coach and it’s substantially less costly than working with two lawyers. The parenting coach fees are probably a third of what the hourly rate is for one lawyer and the parenting coach is shared by both parents. So, there’s a huge cost savings to resolving the parental issues. Also, the parenting coach will help prevent future issues from arising by discussing how to cope with certain circumstances in the future. For example, they’ll talk about how to introduce new partners to the children, when that’s appropriate, how to respond to any of the concerns that the children might have and how to respond to your ex-spouse having a new partner and being involved in with your children.

In my experience of doing Family Law since 1990, the collaborative team practice is the best thing that has come to the practice of Family Law because it really is geared to helping clients get through their separation and divorce, and to minimizing the costs both in terms of finances and emotions. Clients love it and appreciate it so much. After the collaborative process, the parties are usually better able to communicate regarding parenting issues because they haven’t been throwing mud at each other as is done in the court process. They’ve learned how to work with professionals to resolve their disputes respectfully and so they’re better able to communicate with each other beyond the separation. They’ve learned good communication skills and been able to establish a new relationship with their ex-spouse, which is based on mutual respect and a desire to co-parent their children.


If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with family law issues in the Barrie, Ontario Region, contact Galbraith Family Law for a consultation.

This article is taken from a September 23, 2008 interview with Brian Galbraith, Family Lawyer with Galbraith Family Law, a Barrie Ontario Family Law Firm. Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.