Um, What Is a 'Divorce Doula'?

divorce doula

It’s been six years since “conscious uncoupling” broke the internet and redefined the way we do divorce. And in its wake, more forward-thinking concepts have cropped up, from divorced couples who still live and/or work together to divorce apps meant to ease communication between parents in conflict. One particularly interesting new concept that's come from this mindset is the idea of a divorce doula.

According to Maren Cardillo, an attorney at New York firm Divorce Mediation Professionals, a divorce doula (sometimes referred to as a divorce coach) offers expert advice and a shoulder to cry on. Yup, just like their childbirth-coaching counterparts. Explains Cardillo: “A divorce coach is usually a non-lawyer who provides hand-holding and information throughout the process.” And they can cater to your exact circumstances. “For someone who needs assistance managing expenses, a coach with a financial background could be helpful. For someone who needs parenting advice, a mental health background would be preferred.”

Take, for example, Toronto-based doula Lynn Kaplan, who addresses both the practical complexities of separation (prepping clients to work with lawyers, financial planners and the like) as well as the emotional, “Serving as a crutch, a sounding board, a friend and a partner.”  

Here's how one of Kaplan's clients (anonymously, for confidentiality purposes) described her experience: “I wish I had found Lynn earlier in my divorce. By the time I found her, the communication between me and my ex-husband was unbearable. Lynn helped me to really take the time to look at every email I sent to make them as neutral as possible, to keep down my stress and the hostility. Amazingly, six months later , my ex and I are able to work together most of the time to make the best decisions for our three children.”

Doulas: They're not just for babies anymore. 

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sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...