For seven years Bec Jones worked as a divorce lawyer in London, getting the best deals for her clients when they separated from their partners.
But during this time, and after going though a divorce herself, she realised the ‘my lawyer vs your lawyer’ approach wasn’t working for a lot of people and was actually causing a lot of unnecessary acrimony and expense.
So she decided to find a better way to go about helping couples through a divorce.
The 41-year-old now works as a divorce coach with tech start-up amicable, a lawyer-free online divorce service which helps couples untie the knot by focusing on the best outcome for the entire family unit – and not just one individual.
Speaking to Mirror Online, Bec explained: “When it comes to divorce, every break-up is different and therefore, one size does not fit all.
“I heard of amicable’s approach of helping both people through the process and was intrigued to find out more.
“At this time, I had my professional experience of being a divorce lawyer but had also just divorced myself, so had another level of understanding regarding what couples go through.
“I prefer the amicable route as it costs less, doesn’t take as long, prioritises the emotional journey and focuses on creating positive outcomes for the whole family.”
Bec says the key difference is that a divorce coach supports both people, whereas a lawyer represents only one – so there’s less arguing involved.
“An amicable divorce coach helps the couple to negotiate their financial settlement and untie the knot in a way that sets a positive tone for their future relationship and any co-parenting plans.
“We help couples to focus on goals for the future, rather than getting stuck in the past. We evaluate the financial reality against each person’s plans for the future with honesty and transparency and discuss how to split assets fairly, allowing both people to walk away with what they need.”
But that’s not all, there’s one other big difference between the two professions – the cost.
“As a solicitor, I charged for every six minutes of my time and was always conscious of how much clients were paying,” she admits.
“In contrast, amicable divorce works on a fixed-fee model.
“The average cost of a divorce in the UK is over £22,000, but amicable services costs just under £3000, or £5550 if you have over £2m in assets or more than one property.”
Bec claims the attitude to divorce is changing, with people now looking for an alternative way to separate that is kinder, affordable and helps instead of hindering the transition from parents to co-parents.
“I’m proud to be at the forefront of that change,” she says. “The best part of the job is helping people through a difficult time in their lives in a pragmatic and supportive way.
“Separating can be an overwhelming experience, so being there to walk and talk my customers through the process and help them to avoid any common pitfalls that the process can throw at them is really fulfilling.”
A typical day in Bec’s job involves lots of video meeting with couples.
“For new couples, we spend the first session working out their long-term goals and, if they have children, what a successful co-parenting relationship looks like for them,” she tells us.
“Follow up meetings tend to focus on financial negotiations and help set boundaries and expectations for shared parenting after the separation.
“We also offer free 15-minute advice sessions for people who are thinking about divorce and want to find out more about what options are available to them. Based on their needs, we either match them to an amicable service or refer them if we’re not the right route for them.”
As well as providing an insight into her career, Bec also shared some top tips for anyone thinking of getting divorced.
She said: “If you’re thinking about getting a divorce, take time to ensure you move forward in the most constructive way.
“First, talk to your partner – do they agree it’s over? If they’re not on the same page
as you, it’s worth it in the long run to give them the time they need to adjust or get the emotional support they need to discuss the separation.
“Consider your options. Book a free 15-minute advice session with an amicable divorce coach who can help you understand the process and what options are available to you.”
For those already going through a divorce, she broke down her top tips:
- Imagine yourself at the 5- and 10-year mark. Thinking about the future you want can help you to make positive decisions in the present.
- Build a positive support network of family and friends to help you both through the trickier moments.
- Be kind to yourself – and to your partner. You’re both going through a difficult process.
- If you have children, communicating how you’ll work as co-parents long term will help you maintain a positive relationship for the benefit of the kids.
For more information visit https://amicable.io/