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New Professional Body For Divorce Coaches

With the number of Divorce Coaches offering services increasing, the Divorce and Separation Coaching Institute of New Zealand (DSCINZ) has been established to regulate the industry and protect the public from unethical practices.

Co-founders Nikki Bould, Kimberlee Sweeney, Kelly Sutton, and Julie (Jules) McClain recognised the need to establish an ethically-driven service with a governing body. This initiative aims to safeguard people undergoing separation or divorce, mitigating the stress and emotional turmoil that often accompany these situations. The founders emphasise that divorce professionals should help de-escalate conflicts and work towards amicable resolutions, avoiding any unethical practices that could exacerbate clients' distress. DSCINZ is committed to ensuring all their coaches operate effectively and ethically.

Kimberlee Sweeney, NZ’s first CDC certified divorce coach, explains, “There are no regulations in the divorce coaching industry. Just like other professional bodies have regulatory bodies with professional standards of practice we saw a need for professional oversight and a support system for clients who have had negative experiences with coaching relationships.”

Nikki Bould, an accredited mediator, ADR divorce coach and the Director of Learning and Development for the NZ Divorce Coaches Academy training program, adds, “People navigating the end of a significant relationship are particularly vulnerable, especially when children are involved. Being a DSCINZ coach signifies membership in a professional body, providing clients with reassurance that their coach adheres to rigorous ethical and professional standards.”

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Every coach listed in the DSCINZ directory is an internationally Certified Divorce Coach who has undergone DSCINZ’s rigorous assessment process. This ensures they meet the highest standards of professionalism and ethical conduct. Only those who meet these standards are added to the directory.

The Institute can also support both coach and client in resolving disputes involving a DSCINZ coach. DSCINZ offers practitioners access to professional supervision and ongoing professional development, enhancing the overall well-being of their coaches and supporting the public through the divorce process.

DSCINZ collaborates with a vetted network of affiliate divorce professionals, from lawyers to financial experts, who have agreed to work alongside DSCINZ coaches. This collaborative approach ensures that the public receives the best possible support during separation and divorce.

"In addition to emotional support for clients, Divorce Coaches advocate for alternative dispute resolution approaches that prioritise collaboration and mutual understanding," explains Nikki Bould. "Our aim is to empower individuals to resolve conflicts amicably, preserving important relationships and minimising negative impacts on children and the wider family."

Kimberlee Sweeney highlights the importance of having a personal coach during divorce or separation, stating, “This is such a challenging time for families. A coach helps with emotional management, de-escalating conflict, and the practical aspects of separating assets and sharing child care.”

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