A former lawyer has launched a service aimed at helping women who are going through a divorce.
Emma Heptonstall believes that many women struggle to understand the options available to them when they are dealing with the emotional problems of the separation.
Emma – dubbed the Divorce Alchemist – hopes her new ‘coaching’ service will allow to get what they want emotionally, practically and financially. It has been launched this January – typically the month when separations are at their peak.
Emma said: ‘Divorces in January increase by as much as a third as people either want to make a fresh start, or they get through Christmas for the sake of family and then file.
‘The problem for many women in this situation is not knowing what their options are, coupled with shock and volatile emotions. I have created a service where I explain the process, outline what alternatives they have and help them rationally plan ahead.’
Emma believes this guidance has been lacking, resulting in poor choices being made and huge legal bills being generated unnecessarily.
The legal expert has created a simple seven-step programme that clearly explains the divorce process to women and helps them get clear on what they want emotionally, practically and financially. This ends up saving them both time and money.
Emma believes women need to make three big decisions before even contacting a lawyer – whether divorce is right for them, what type of divorce they want and what type of lawyer they need.
She added: ‘Divorce often puts women at an economic disadvantage, particularly if they have sacrificed their career to look after children. Their gut reaction is to hire a lawyer immediately, but often end up using them for handholding, counselling and emotional advice, instead of legal guidance, which can rack up big bills.
‘Lawyers are expensive – a contested divorce ranges from £8k to £10k per person – and they should only be retained once the parties involved have a clear understanding of what is going to work best for them.’
‘It’s challenging not to be in fight or flight mode when you’re facing divorce,’ says Emma. ‘I coach women to help them make these decisions by getting them to look at where they are now and where they want to be at the conclusion of their divorce. It helps them stay focused when emotions are running high and gives them the confidence to communicate what they want.’
Emma, who is based in York, offers one to one coaching either face to face or via Skype. For more details: www.emmaheptonstall.com.