Building your divorce team

We are proud to announce that The Smart Divorce Podcast is launching its 7th series! In this series the guests will be experts in their field including mediators, solicitors, surveyors, relocation agents, mortgage advisers and divorce coaches, to name but a few.

Our first episode features Svenja Keller, Tom Nash, Sarah Birdsey.


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Svenja Keller
Svenja Keller is a coach and independent adviser for money and life. As a Chartered Financial Planner and ILM accredited Performance Coach, Svenja combines her knowledge and experience of working in financial services for over 20 years with coaching skills. With her non-judgmental and inclusive approach, she aims to empower people to make their own decisions around money and life.  Svenja has extensive knowledge and experience in financial services, in the UK and internationally. The list of large financial institutions she worked for includes Lehman Brothers, UBS Wealth Management and PwC. She advised clients as a financial planner and held senior positions, leading large teams. Svenja now runs her own financial wellbeing and life planning business – Svenja Keller Ltd.

Sarah Birdsey Sarah is a specialist family solicitor and managing director at Nicholls Solicitors. Sarah has extensive experience in all areas of private family law and is a Resolution Accredited Specialist in family finances and child arrangements. Sarah most commonly deals with divorce, financial relief and children matters. Her cases on financial relief often involve complex business and foreign assets. Sarah has good working relationships with specialist barristers, financial advisors and other experts to call upon their expertise where required. Sarah is also regularly instructed in respect of pre and post nuptial agreements and cohabitation agreements. Sarah has recently completed ‘what about Henry’ training with a clinical child psychologist to better understand how to support families and particularly children who are dealing with family separation. Client’s and colleagues recognise Sarah’s personal, down to earth and sensitive approach but she is someone who is not afraid to fight for clients’ to ensure a fair outcome. Sarah is regularly recommended and has built up strong reputation in the family law field.

@sarahlbirdsey (twitter)
@sbirdseysolicitor (Instagram)

Tom Nash - aka Mr Divorce Coach, is an internationally certified Coach, specialising in Divorce, Separation & Family Coaching. He is a child of divorce, a divorcee himself, a father, step-father & successful co-parent of his own blended family. Tom works with men, women & couples, assisting in their emotional well-being, positive mindset and practical support through a clients divorce/separation.






(The transcript has been created by an AI, apologies for any mistakes)

Tamsin Caine 0:06
Hello, and welcome to series 7 of the Smart Divorce podcast. This is the first episode, and things are going to be a bit different in this series. I'm going to be joined by three different experts in every episode, or around the table discussion on a particular topic. So today we're going to be talking about creating your divorce team. Why should you have a divorce team? Who should be on your divorce team and what difference both specialists and experts can bring to the table? I hope you're going to enjoy it. Let's jump right in. Hello, and welcome to the first episode of series 7 of the Smart Divorce Podcast. I'm Tamsin Caine. I'm a chartered financial planner and I will be your host today. I'm delighted to be joined by three experts in their fields or they're going to introduce themselves. I'm going to hand over first to Tom Nash, who is Mr Divorce Coach. Tom, welcome!

Tom Nash 1:11
Thanks for having me. Yes, I'm Tom Nash, otherwise known as Mr. Divorce Coach or guy in the yellow chair, and I'm one of the very few male divorce coaches in the UK. Hopefully there will be more in the future. I'm a child of divorced parents on the divorcee, co parent, ex husband step there and etc. I retrained in coaching about four years ago after a career in the city for 15 years, specifically to help other individuals, couples and families to get through their own divorce or separation journey and come out the other side as least the scales as possible and find a way to work together for themselves and for the children.

Tamsin Caine 1:50
Awesome. Awesome. We're gonna hear more about that later. welcome Sarah Birdsey. Sarah is a family solicitor.

Sarah Birdsey 2:01
Yes morning. I'm a Family solicitor at Nichols Solicitors in Altrincham. I specialise in dealing with all all sorts of family matters. So divorce separation, dealing with child arrangements, and also Prenuptial agreements, post nuptial agreements, all sorts of family law really. I'm also an accredited resolution specialist in the family area as well.

Tamsin Caine 2:27
Also welcome, Sarah. Thank you for that. And last but very much, not least, we have Svenja Keller who is a financial expert. Svenja, can you tell us more?

Svenja Keller 2:41
Yeah, hi, thank you for having me. I'm a financial coach and Life Planner, I help people make their own decisions around money and life. And that would be a very much part of a divorce as well. So it's it's really about planning your life after your divorce and your finances and how they go together. I have a long history of financial services experience. I've worked as a chartered financial planner for many years. And then decided to combine this with coaching to help people make their own decisions and make deliberate choices for their lives. And I'm particularly interested in mindset. So I help people really out of my own experience to change their mindsets, and therefore their outlook.

Tamsin Caine 3:34
Welcome, Tanya, thank you for joining us. So today we're going to talk about the divorce team. And this is something that I'm really passionate about, and actually won the resolution collaboration award last year, though, this is something that I think is really important. But it is something that isn't necessarily widely done. Tom, tell us your thoughts on on pulling together a divorce team around you when you're when you're going through divorce.

Tom Nash 4:07
Yeah, much the same as you. My approach is always around having securing the right people for the right resources, and the right people for you as well. So I always included like the triage the call triage of support of legal financial and emotional and having the right specialist in those areas that also kind of work collaboratively together to support you. All too often as me as a divorce coach and dealing with the emotional side, the mindset side, the practicality side, I have family lawyers that refer to me. And I don't know if you'd agree with this at all, sir, but I have a lot of lawyers that come to me and say, I'm being used in an expensive box of tissues or I'm not trying to deal with the psychological, emotional side of this side of things. So it's about building the right amount of people around you. Your support team can extend it outside of project smells as well. So it's also looking at the people that you surround you who want the professionals by either lawyers or financial advisors or coaches, but also the positive influences, looking at people who have had a challenging experience, because it's never easy, even in the most amicable situations, but who can we look to model and mirror positively? And where do we get the right support? I wouldn't be giving advice on particular legal aspects or tax returns, because that's not my area of specialism our forte. So likewise, why would you be asking your financial planner, or we will mediate or your solicitor to be helping you deal with the emotional aspect, and that mindset of how you're coping through this and the psychological aspects, it's really important to get the right specialist around you, I was kind of utilise a kind of sports analogy, pick any kind of major sports personality with Serena Williams, Lewis, Hamilton, whatever, they will have a team of people around them with those specialist areas to have PT, physio, they have all these different people to help them in that specific area. It's just about the other thing is some pretty good to it later is having that team around you and spreading those different interactions and support mechanisms that you need, can also help you manage things like the financial aspect, and the time aspect and a whole host of other things that actually help you and can keep the lesson the contentiousness reduced the cost? A multitude of other kind of things that can help you with?

Tamsin Caine 6:35
Yeah, absolutely, totally agree. There are, I'm imagining that the majority of people first contact you, as a family solicitor, before they move on to contacting perhaps Tom or Svenja or myself? What's your approach in terms of helping clients to build the team?

Sarah Birdsey 6:56
Yeah, so I mean, it is I agree with what you both said about, you know, building that team around you, and having the right people doing the right jobs, you know, there's, there are clients that sort of approaches, and you can see, sometimes from the outset, or as the case progresses, that they are sort of relying on us for that emotional support as well, or they want to phone to spend half an hour venting or crying or, you know, going through those emotional things. And, and, you know, as a, obviously, you know, I've been through this situation myself as well, divorce is hard, you know, and it's, and we do have that empathetic side, obviously, as family lawyers, but, you know, I'm not trained in dealing with all of that. And so, really, I feel like it's our job as family lawyers to signpost, them to, you know, divorce coaches, counsellors, financial planners to make sure that they're getting all of the right advice, you know, at the right time to get them through the process. You know, and and, you know, as Tom said, there's, there's a whole host of people that you may need and, and sometimes, you know, clients see it as well, I don't, I don't want to get, you know, a divorce case, for example, because that's another layer of costs. But it's not, it's not really another layer of costs, it's, it's spending the right money in the right place, there's no point in paying me to do something that I'm not qualified to do, you know, my job is to deal with the legal aspects and get you from, from A to B, legally, you know, if that's the route, that you're going down, that you want to get divorced, well, then, you know, my job is to get you through that, that legal process and get you to the point that your divorce, but I can't advise you on, you know, the, the mindset, as Ben just said, you know, having that right mindset, having that plan of where you go after your divorce, you know, that's something that, you know, other people that are much more qualified to do. So, yeah, you know, it's something that I do signpost, people to obviously, you know, they'll do their own research, or they'll, they'll make their own decisions there. But it's important for us as lawyers to, you know, tell people about these other options really, and, and whose best to advise them on those other aspects of it.

Tamsin Caine 9:02
Yeah, and I think that that's, that's a really good point, actually, because I think a lot of clients don't realise that. The team is TEAM approach is a good plan. They kind of go off to the family solicitor and, and that's almost like, oh, well, that's, that's kind of all I need. And so I think that signposting is is really important. What are your thoughts on this Svenja?

Svenja Keller 9:25
Yeah, I totally agree with everything that's been said. And I always say you don't know what you don't know. So how, you know, a lot of people would probably not know that coaches can help through a process or that that there are different professionals that can assist. And especially with your area, Tamsin, a lot of people don't know that there's so much complexity in the financial matters, especially the pensions. And I think it's just recognising that divorce is a huge She events in someone's life, and it's a complete change. And that will, then then it's recognising that and then it's identifying what are my needs, and when do I have these needs, it's almost becoming a bit more rational about it and then saying, right, if I need a doctor, I go and see a doctor. So I'm going through this huge change. So I need emotional support. So I go and get that from a coach, or I need to plan my life after divorce or want to change my mindset to look forward. So I, I don't speak to a financial coach or a life planner. So it's, it's finding those needs. And the final thing I would add is, it's also letting your professional advisors do the job that they are good at. So if you as the client start downloading, because you've got no one else to go to, to your solicitor, you might be distracting them from doing what they are really good at, which is fighting your legal corner. And you so it's almost giving, assembling a team so that everyone can do the best that they can for you.

Tamsin Caine 11:11
Yeah, I think that's I think that's absolutely spot on. I think everything that that you've said, there, it makes complete sense. I think it might be useful, because, as we've said, people don't necessarily realise that, that the made the job that you do spend, you're in the in the job that you do come are available to them and how you can how you can help. So when you can you tell us a little bit more about your role about what you bring to the divorce process?

Svenja Keller 11:41
Yeah, thank you. Because what I do is, it's almost, it's quite unique. It's it doesn't, it doesn't exist much in in other scenarios. I, I would probably come much later in a divorce process. So I help people to kind of turn their view to the next phase and make it obviously, it's a hugely emotional, often quite negative process. And I tried to help people to look forwards, be positive about what's to come and and then put the money around it. I also help reassure people. So the financial side of what I do is really more to help those parties that might have not dealt with the finances before so I, I handhold them I help them start to understand how to do things and how they want to do things how their partner might have done things doesn't might not have been the way that they want to do things going forward with their finances. So it's it's almost just, it's not I don't like the word education because it sounds patronising. But it's more empowering people to understand their finances, and how they want to manage them. And quite often that then links to to you, Tamsin because they I don't do the regulator's advice. So that would then lead to helping people find their own advisor. But it's really more an empowering situation of an empowering service to say, okay, you've gone through this now, let's look forward, let's prepare you in the best positive way.

Tamsin Caine 13:20
Fantastic, though most people are coming to you, once their financial settlements done or nearly done to design their new chapter. Have I kind of got that?

Svenja Keller 13:30
Yeah, that's, that's right. Some people start a bit earlier if they just want a positive outlook, but a lot of them find it a bit too difficult to start while they are going through that turmoil. So they come to me once they have clarity on what's available to them and and then they start looking right, you know, new chapter in my life, how, how can I plan my life? What do I want, and I just help them to see the positives and look forward to it and then plan the money side around it.

Tamsin Caine 14:04
Brilliant, I love that I love I love all that all the things that you said about positivity and because I do think that, like it felt like a really negative process to go through. But actually, there can be huge positives about about coming out the other side and designing the life that you want without having to compromise for for another person. Tom, I know divorce coaches, I think gradually in the UK starting to know about divorce coaches and starting to get the word out a little bit further, but they are still not as well known as, as I know that we would all like So could you tell us a little bit more about what a divorce coach is in jobs and perhaps a bit about how they differ from a counsellor or therapist or are the emotional portlets out there?

Tom Nash 14:54
Yes, absolutely. So coaching in just its core essence is The less past focused as let's say as traditional talk therapy or counselling. And then there can be some crossover because you do have counsellors and therapists that also do them to coaching and vice versa. So, by myself, I'm not a counsellor or a therapist, but I'm trained in various psychology thing treatments, things like neural linguistic programming, cognitive behaviour, therapy, and things like that. So a good friend of mine and a good friend of ours comes up no soon Palmer Khan has a lovely analogy, which kind of stills I'm just crediting over which and she is a psychologist and a coach, the others as you but the exam she uses that a therapist or a counsellor, is maybe walking down the road with all of your life stuff in a suitcase, and you get to your crossroads, the counsellor or the therapist helps you open that suitcase up, unpack it all, take everything out, figure out what you need to keep what you don't need to etc. They close that back up for you then and that's when the coach will come along. And the coach actually helps you pick that suitcase up and helps you look at moving forward. Similar to extend you're saying that from a divorce coach perspective, there is around not the financial side and vital planning and life planning has been uses. There's touching on that, that we've read, I got some notes video, but it's more than around, we're looking at both their current situation, as well as where they want to go future focused as well how they want to get through this process. I view myself as kind of a blended coach because of the psychology thing treatments. So it's then helping them understand how they can work backwards through their emotions. So I operate my practice on three core values of understand, evolve and improve. Everybody wants to be better. Everyone wants to know how to see the wood for the trees. How do I get out of this, this stuckness that I'm in coaching is a lot more challenging, let's say than traditional talk therapy and counselling. It is a lot is less of the why but it's more of the what when, where, who and how do we move forward? So like what have we learnt? How can we do things differently? But is it speaking when my passion areas having been a child of divorce and being a father of children and stepfather Be passionate for me that is co parenting step parenting and blended families? So he's looking at okay, we understand where you've where you are now. And we can we understand that why potentially already are might be referring across referring to a counsellor or therapist if they don't. And that is me coming in to help them with that left, left Left corner, the suitcase at the crossroads. Okay, so how would you like to improve your communication? What can you accountability wise, do differently? How do we help the client understand and process and learn to manage and regulate those emotions, whatever they might be anger, sadness, fear, guilt being a huge one for a lot of people. How do we help people to build not just a structured co parenting plans of what's written on a piece of paper, whether there'll be an actual order that they've put through cetera? And that kind of support legally, but the realities of it practically day to day? How are they going to interact? What's that going to be like for the children? What tips and tools and techniques can we help them with? Down to really simple fun and things that people don't think about? As an example, you might have heard me say before turning around tech, modern day tech can be helpful or a hindrance. Anyone that's ever been in a Tesla, for example, you get a text message to come talk to you. If you're seeing anger phase, and you've changed the name of your former spouse to something derogatory on your phone. And this happens all the time, realistically, you do the school run, and your car stops telling you that there's so and so this verb, and it gets in the car. It really happens. And it's helping people understand what's the what's the, what's the legal aspects of doing, what's the financial aspects of done? How are you actually going to live in this environment? How would you like it to be? What can you do? Because essentially, coaching is about creating accountability, making these big, scary, tumultuous things bite size, breaking it down? What part do you play in this role? How could you improve the situation? You can only control what you can control that you service and you've seen before. So what are you bringing to the table? If what you do needs to change and could have an impact on that positively? Let's unpack it and look at all the different ways to do that. And for a lot of people, it's also might be their one solace, a space where actually it can be great to talk to a complete stranger. They have no objective, they have no preconceived idea. They are solely focused on you the plan, and what needs that you have and what is experiences for you. And it can be really helpful to just unpack that with a complete stranger.

Tamsin Caine 19:49
Yeah, absolutely. And, and just Just quickly before I move on, and you come in right at the beginning, the process this is this, this moving forward There isn't one thing he was talking about about doing at the end of the process. This is something you're there all the way through.

Tom Nash 20:07
Oh, so I always say that there's this four stages of the four Ps, this is what Sue and I teach at the divorce coaching, getting into our students is the four Ps four phases of divorce. There's pre planning, process and post. So I have clients, either individuals as well as couples that come to us at the beginning, essentially, kind of more like discernment counselling in some respects, but it's makeup and breakup. Do we want to be together? Can we say this? And that is actually always a first point of call for any divorce coach as well. Have they made that decision? Is it already been made less stages? Or is there is there ways to actually help them maybe refocus the victim relationship coaching? So the divorce coaches goal isn't to help the world divorce, which a lot of people think it might be. But yes, it's helping people in their free phase, that decision make up and break up. So actually, how could you go about this in the best way possible is still not going to be easy. Even in most amicable situations, it still takes one party to have some bravery and courage, whatever the scenario is to say, hey, this isn't working, I'm not happy. Even if the other person because you have completely agree with you. Someone still has put their head above the parapet, and then you get into planning phase, it's a decision has been made. Okay, so how do we go about this? What's what sort of things we need to think about who can most coach connect me with for financial, legal mediation, whatever it might be that they need? Unfortunately, and quite typically, I do get the vast majority of my referrals from mediators, lawyers, and barristers in the process and post phase, when things have got really bitter communication, completely broken down, pending hearings, etc, not being able to see the kids so on and so forth, things like that. As well as other people in postbase, it's been two years or it's been used, I just had the vinyl or whatever it might be. And I did the same thing. When I got divorced, the first thing that most were taught by society, film, TV, etc. you separate your divorce in what you do that you speak to a lawyer, the lawyer says, you think about your finances. So you go to a financial planner. And a lot of the time at some point, thereafter, you go. Actually, this was really emotionally and physically draining, what do I do now? So that's why I say like a lot of people do if they're in the post processing post phase, but it absolutely is, is that that's the case, at the crossroad could be right at the very beginning tonight. Do we stay together? We don't meet if we're not going to? How can we go out in the best way possible?

Tamsin Caine 22:39
Brilliant, lovely. And, Sarah, I think there's a misconception in the UK that if you go and see your family solicitor, that means you're going to end up in court and have a big battle. And it's all going to be very acrimonious. I know from my experience of working with you that that's not how you approach things. Can you tell us a little bit more about about your approach to if somebody came to see you? And they were right at the beginning of their, their journey in divorce?

Sarah Birdsey 23:13
Yeah, so I think a lot of what Spencer and Tom have just said as well is that, you know, when a client first comes to you, they're very often, you know, it might be that this decision to divorce has been sprung on them, you know, sometimes it's a complete shock. And that first meeting, they come with 100 questions, and they don't know which direction they're going in. They don't know how to process any of it really. And so a lot of it is, you know, on picking all of that. And And as Tom said, the first thing is, well, is this relationship actually at an end? You know, do you need to go and see a coach or a counsellor and see if you can work this out. You know, and obviously, sometimes that that can work and people can reconcile. If that's not the case, well, then it's a matter of okay, well, how do we look at this going forward? How do we try to resolve this amicably? And certainly, I think we all know, and are involved with resolution, which is, the whole goal behind that is to try to deal with things in a non acrimonious way. So that, you know, the goal is always to try and agree things amicably so that they're done by agreement, and it gives people you know, more control over the outcome. And, ultimately, if you end up in court, you know, both parties end up spending an awful lot of money that could be better spent on the family and, you know, helping them both to be house or to rebuild, you know, their own separate lives. And it also, you know, it does make relations between them more difficult. This, you know, there's no doubt going through that court process. So, so really, that is only to be used where it's absolutely necessary. I mean, there are scenarios where you do have to issue court proceedings if if the other party isn't cooperate. anything or if they're not providing the information that you need or disclosure, or they're just, you know, the parties are just miles apart in terms of what they're, they're seeking. But certainly our approach is, you know, let's, let's try to do this amicably. And I often find that actually, when the other party first instructs the solicitor, the most helpful thing to do is just pick up the phone and have a conversation with the solicitor because it can be easy to get into that correspondence, you know, send in long letters about all of these issues. And actually, if you can just pick the phone up and take the heat out of things from the outset, it does have a good impact on on the relationship in terms of the two solicitors working together. But it also sort of gives that reassurance that you know, that this isn't a battleground, this isn't, you know, a fight to be had this is this is us working together to try to, you know, reach a solution really, that works for everybody. So, so that's Yeah, our approach is, you know, let's try to do this as amicably as possible. It's always a difficult process emotionally. And it's, it's really interesting actually, to see clients go through the process, because so the from that first meeting, they come with 100 questions, and no plan, really, and my analogy is that I always think that it's almost as if you're on a train, and you're going in one direction, and then all of a sudden, someone says, No, you've got to get off the train, you're going somewhere else, but you don't know where yet, you know, you've just got to sort of get on a different trade in a completely different direction and trust that, that you're going to end up somewhere that is better. And very often clients do, you know, when they get to the end of that process, they've got the positive plan going forward. And it's, you know, it's lovely to see that transition, and for them to get to the end of the process and be positive about the way forward. But, you know, it is very much a process. It's a roller coaster of emotions. And it's it's not easy.

Tamsin Caine 27:00
No, absolutely. I have likened it many a time to a caterpillar going into the chrysalis phase. And that's the divorce process itself. And then when they come out the other side, they become this butterfly and they've they've grown these wings, and that that's that's worth venue comes in and helps with the with the life funding aspect. Spend you I'm I'm just wondering what from your point of view, what's, what's their desired outcome? What the, when you feel like you've done a really great job for your clients? Well, what does that look like?

Svenja Keller 27:38
That's a really good question. I think in one word, on one short sentence, I would say they feel in control of their finances, their life going forward. But in that, but there's more to it, I think there's a more positive thing, they have a positive plan that is realistic, so the finances will support it. But it's also exciting for them. So it's a new life, that that their finances can support and they feel like they understand how they can support themselves, and they have full control over what they're doing.

Tamsin Caine 28:16
Excellent. And do you have them? Do you find that people often change direction in terms of work, for example? Do they do they often? Or area? Or do they do they have a big change from the end of their divorce process?

Svenja Keller 28:33
I mean, I've I deal with a lot of more vulnerable people that have been maybe through a more controlling relationship. So a lot of people that are maybe a bit more vulnerable financially as well, they've maybe never dealt with the finances. So a lot of them. A lot of it's actually it's very different. It depends on the person, there's always but I've had people who had really clear plans, where even I thought, wow, that's ambitious, and purity for you. And you know, even especially coming out of quite a controlling environment where they weren't allowed to do anything. And all of the sudden, they were planning a business and having loads of ideas. And other people just want a more quiet life. You know, they just want to continue similar to how they were before. Just just want to make the finances work. But I love the people that have the ambition to just reinvent themselves. I love it. It's just so lovely to see.

Tamsin Caine 29:36
It's really nice to watch them grow those wings and become the person that they that they want to become and you know, that is the positive side of they've coming out the other side of divorce and it isn't necessarily an immediate thing is is that you know, you get the Decree Absolute or the final order as it is now and you go right now. Everything's changed. You know, it's like it It can take it can certainly take some time concepts. And some you mentioned earlier about other other professionals or non professionals that might be involved. from a, from a professional side of things. You know, we talked about the emotional support the financial support the legal support those that's obviously the core of the team. What other places do you go to, with clients that that might be able to support to support them moving forward into what are the professionals can be, can be useful to be brought in

Tom Nash 30:34
It is kind of endless, in some respects, because it depends on the uniqueness of the individual, just as Stephanie was saying, if I have a client who, let's say, they haven't worked for reviews, because they were the primary carer, it might be a case of getting them in with a career coach getting them to look at their CV, fortunately, I spent 15 years or in recruiting visitors, so I can help them with that. It's about helping them understand a case of when I said earlier about less of the why, but the what, where, when, who, etc. It's helping them look at those. Okay, so who else who else you need to move on to now what's the next step of support for you? That might be co parenting courses, and co parenting specialists, like kids come first, etc. And those kinds of things. It might be about their career, it might be. I have a lady in central London, she deals with quite high net worth individuals. And she is a decluttering specialist. And she comes in she's like, right, let's kind of like completely finish way the whole place. Let's we do need this. And she helps these people physically unpack their lives, let's say. So it's there's a whole multitude of resources, it just depends uniquely on the individual what they want to do. And all that is again from a coach, which is about helping become accountable to helping them do the homework of what they want to go and find out. So it might be retraining. For example, I had a lady about a year ago, who had loved flipping in nursing for 10 years before having children, been away for it for several years, wanted to get back into it. And actually one of the things that she wanted to do or needed to do that she recognised was put back in contact with them all contacts of hers, went back and spoke to previous bosses went and found out what information she needed to do to reintegrate herself, even down to things like a chap who was always very engaged, but was less present because of his work hours and completely changed his career, not just things I did. And he then was going to be more involved in his kids life because he wasn't there physically as much. So he wanted to be on the PTA and wanted to join the run the school football team or whatever it wasn't. So what do you need to do? How, what's the next step who can help you? What resources do you need? So it really is endless the amount of resources that someone could look for? And it's about what percent percentage of saying, where do they want to go now? What would they like to achieve next Wednesday? Someone's looking to start their business. Okay, so what would you need? And who could help you with that? What's the first things you need to go and consider, and helping them understand what's what's the next stages from there. So it really is an endless pool of resources. And I suppose some of that comes back to as well with each of us as professionals having the right context and our own networks. So if I have a client in the preface or clients if it's a couple, for example, knowing the right family lawyer, the right solicitor or barrister, or mediator descended through to someone who's a resolution member lots of same as all of us who is going to isn't going to take an acrimonious approach isn't going to raise contentiousness is going to look at this about Okay, so how can we help you especially now with obviously no fault, divorce and resolution kind of driving the potential kind of one lawyer to clients, and how you can help them individually or collectively? Sorry. So getting sent ambassadors, professionals, having the right context is the right one, actually, I know 400 lawyers across the country that actually go and talk to these two or three, because they're really suited to either your location, your unique situation, whatever it might be. So again, it's us as professionals knowing where to help them signpost and uniqueness for their client.

Tamsin Caine 34:16
Yeah, absolutely. Good point. Sarah, from from your perspective, I imagine that the professionals that you bring in it is is a little bit more Cocotte and less broad. Then comes work. What what sort of other professionals might you bring into it through a divorce case to help out who might be needed?

Sarah Birdsey 34:41
Yeah, so aside from so obviously, financial advisors, really valuable in terms of that financial and financial advice, and quite often, people are looking at either selling the property or buying the other party out. So there'll be mortgage brokers, you know, that needs to have a look what they what they can afford to do. And quite often that's, you know, quite a key point, really, there's no but sometimes people will come to us and say, Okay, we've agreed that we're going to sell the house and I'm going to buy my husband out. But then actually you need, you know, you need to know that the lender will let you do that. So, yeah, so this mortgage brokers, pension actuaries as well can be, you know, we instruct them very often when we're looking at specific pensions to advise on how to split them. So there's all sorts of legal experts, I suppose, and business accountants to value businesses, and mediators, obviously, you know, we work alongside mediators very often. And that's, you know, another way in which to try to avoid court is where parties going to try to agree things through mediation, and trying to think Is there any other surveyors, maybe it's another expert, where we need to value properties.

Tamsin Caine 35:58
More than sending people to tax advisor just to clarify capital gains possessions on? Yeah. And just coming back to the mediators, I'm interested to understand more about because I think sometimes people think well, do I go to the family semester? Or do I go to the mediator? Whereas I know that you work closely with a lot of mediators? What What process do you go down that that means that people may enter mediation after they've spoken to you?

Sarah Birdsey 36:31
So so our role, yeah, we very much work alongside the mediation, so so that a client can go to the mediator, obviously, get that initial information from them about the process, they usually deal with financial disclosure, depending on the complexity of it, whether they deal with financial disclosures, through solicitors or through the mediator. Once you've got that financial disclosure, you've got then a picture really of what the assets are in the marriage, you know, and what they're worth. And then we would obviously advise the clients on you know, what our position is what we do our advices in terms of assessment, so that they can then start those discussions with the mediator. And again, there are some mediations where the client will go to mediation sort of on their own with their, with their partner or their ex partner, and we're advising in the background. Or there are mediations where we would be there with the clients. You know, and both parties would have their solicitors there, you know, to try and reach an agreement. It depends on the situation, you know, the complexity of the matter, the parties involved. You know, there's all sorts of settlement meetings, you can have settlement meetings just with solicitors, you can have them with the mediators, you know, which whichever works really best, you know, for the clients. But yeah, it's certainly something it's not it's not an either or, and even, even sometimes where the parties have issued proceedings, because maybe there's issues about disclosure or, you know, some other urgency to it, maybe once that disclosure is dealt with, you can still refer back to mediation, even once proceedings are issued. And so it's something that's always in the back of our minds and always under review, rarely, you know, is this something where mediation could help at this point. And certainly in terms of, you know, dealing with children matters. You know, mediation is so helpful in those sorts of scenarios. Again, it depends on the parties and you know, is mediation suitable, and it's not always possible but mediation can be you know, invaluable in terms of sorting out those those child arrangements. And it may be that you never need a court order, you know, it's something that you might be able to agree between you but on other occasions, it may be that you know, the parties can go to mediation, they can reach an agreement, but they still need that security of a court order, but it can be done then by agreement. So it's much much you know, shortened process much more straightforward for them

Tamsin Caine 39:10
fantastic and there are so many options with mediation now aren't there you know, there there are ways in which you can you can mediate even if you have been in abusive relationship that's been your was referring to earlier, we all come across far too often, whether it's corrosive control or financial economic abuse, even if not physical. Now, there are still options within mediation now that doesn't make it a no go which obviously, it has been in the past. I'm just going to do a quick round through your world. Just see if there's anything that any of you would like to add because we are coming to the end of our time together already. Amazing. Tom, anything, any final words from you?

Tom Nash 39:55
We've covered pretty much everything in terms of your divorce team, if you like If prep professionals and non professionals, I suppose it's just more around ensuring that you've got the right versions of that team so much the same as when you can put your house on the market, you don't just have you don't go with the first estate agent, you have two or three and take advantage of markets, or take the people that referred and tried and tested. So like, again, I collaborate and work very closely with a lot of family lawyers and mediators. It's not about taking clients or work away from them, it's about supporting them to give them back a more congruent less emotionally charged client. So it's also about how are they working together as the professionals and who they cross referring to and how they working and again, as part of our roles as the professionals that when we have a client come to us at whichever stage our sources since checking, who else do they have in a support network? What are the professionals might then need an ID dominated right ones and how we introduce them. So that how we, we build that, that that team to prop up their climb around them. So yeah, I think just report making sure that you've got the right team around you. And looking at their credentials, their experiences, their recommendations, how they're uniquely focused for you as a client. I get I have other coaches across refer to me, for example, that are gonna use it as an example, where she's had parents come to her that are struggling with their co parenting communication. Well, that's not her area of forte, so even as a divorce coach, she crossed refers to me and vice versa. So again, it's muscle respecting and knowing each other's areas of specialisms and how we can help with our own pluses, but also our boundaries and restrictions of where we where it's not our area as well.

Tamsin Caine 41:38
No, absolutely, I totally agree with that. And also, when understanding and helping clients to understand that bringing other professionals in does not necessarily mean that they're going to end up with a much bigger bill. In fact, if they've got the right emotional, financial and legal support, they're actually likely to have, as you say, you know, spend less over over time, it's just that it's across three professionals rather than, than just with one. So I appreciate that. Sarah, anything you'd like to add?

Sarah Birdsey 42:08
Yeah, I totally agree with what what Tom said in terms of, you know, do your research, it is important to have the right, the right people helping you, you do need that that team behind you. But you're not always going to gel with with, you know, the first person that you meet the first divorce coach, the first family lawyer that you speak to, it's important that you have that rapport with them, that you do trust them, that you can communicate with them, everybody's different, aren't they, you need to be able to speak to and trust your advisors. So do your research, and make sure that they are the right fit for you. But you know, as we've all said, it is important to have the right people doing the right job for you. Because it is it's a life changing event that you're going through. And these are really big decisions that you're making in terms of, you know, financial or, you know, how you going to work your your family life, your family arrangements, your career around this new life that you're building, you know, so it's important that you get that, right. And I think you know, you can't underplay that at all. Really?

Tamsin Caine 43:14
No, you're absolutely right. And I think the reporting and the getting on with, with whoever's in your team is vitally important, because it can take you know, it's not a five minute job to divorce, you're going to be speaking to these people quite a lot over the next certainly few months. And quite often onwards from that. So you do want to make sure it's somebody that you can, you can get on with him that you that you trust, then you're anything you'd like to add.

Svenja Keller 43:41
Yeah, it's really an extension to that it's the client needs to make sure that all the people you work with work well with you, but also that they all work well with each other. I think that collaboration bits is really important because if as a client, you have to start bridging the communication between different people or there are some kind of egos that are playing against each other, that becomes even more difficult and even bigger burden in a time that's already difficult. So assembling a team that collaborates really well I think is always always for the benefit of the client. And then it goes back to just realising what do you need when and realising it is such a huge part or change in your life that you really need to, to accept or to realise that and then then work with whoever you can in the moment that you need them?

Tamsin Caine 44:42
Yeah, absolutely. That's it. That's a really perfect way of finishing today's episode. Just remains for me to say a massive thank you to Sarah, Tom and Svenja their contact details will be in the show notes if you'd like to get in touch with any of them if you need their help. Please, please check out the show notes and you'll be able to contact them that way. Thank you for joining us. We will be back again in a fortnight. And I hope you have a great day and we look forward to seeing you again soon. Thank you

I hope you enjoyed the episode of the Smart Divorce podcast. If you would like to get in touch please have a look in the show notes for our details or go onto the website Also, if you are listening on Apple podcasts or on Spotify, and you wouldn't mind leaving us a lovely five star review, that would be fantastic. I know that lots of our listeners are finding this is incredibly helpful in their journey through separation, divorce and dissolving a civil partnership. Also, if you would like some further support, we do have Facebook group now. It's called Separation, divorce and dissolution UK. Please do go on to Facebook, search up the group and we'd be delighted to have you join us. The one thing I would say is do please answer their membership questions. Okay, have a great day and take care

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