Your divorce/co-parent coach is dedicated to working with you through the separation/divorce process and beyond — the person who will confidently guide you through the emotional terrain of ending your spousal relationship while guiding you into your co-parenting relationship.
As a co-parent coach, he/she may continue to support your two-home family in the first few years post-decree as needed. The person to call, Skype, email or meet with to help mend the tears and smooth out the wrinkles as best as possible.
The coach works to “uncouple” the spousal relationship and strengthen the parenting functions of the couple so they become effective co-parents across two homes. The co-parent coach may assist the parents in developing their Parenting Plan/Residential Schedule, which provides structure and boundaries for the new co-parenting relationship. The co-parenting relationship is often compared to a business relationship with functions like ‘co-parent executive officers’ and ‘co-parent financial officers’.
Of course for kids, both co-parents remain just plain parents!
The divorce/co-parent coach works with the adults of the family, while the child specialist works with the children (like a coach-for-the-kids). This division of labor preserves the important role of the divorce/co-parent coach as neutral (not on one parent’s side or the other) if/when difficult issues about or with children emerge.
The child specialist can bring the “voice of the children” into a session with the coach and parents to provide much needed information; the divorce/co-parent coach listens along with the parents, provides memory-keeping (remembering what the child specialist actually said) and remains neutral. The coach facilitates the conversation between the child specialist and the parents, and helps parents assimilate the information in a constructive manner.
Coaches often continue to work with co-parents after the divorce to learn “how to” implement a parenting plan, develop constructive communication protocols, understand roles, boundaries, and ways of relating that allow kids to feel safe and stress-free around parents during transitions and in public. Co-parent coaches are problem-solvers and have strategies that make stabilizing two-home families easier for parents and kids alike.
A divorce/co-parent coach provides optimism and confidence about a smoother future during a time when life is falling apart — fraught with uncertainty and overwhelming challenges.
Finding a good co-parent coach for you and your co-parent can change the trajectory of your children’s lives — from guessing and stressing and not knowing as new co-parents to practices and protocols that work to create a functioning two-home family where kids return to growing up and parents are free to develop the next chapter of their individual lives.