On this week’s episode, I chatted with Olga Nadal, the Holistic divorce coach who is changing the way that we view divorce! Olga talked with me about how to handle divorce in a more empowering way by taking a holistic approach to one of the biggest transitions of your life. Currently half of all marriages end in divorce, and Olga’s goal is to change the way that people view divorce, normalizing the process while also helping people be their happiest. This was an incredibly fun and informative interview, and I hope that you all enjoy! Can’t wait to see you all in our UM Club Hangout to discuss what Olga and I talked about!


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Guest Expert Olga Nadal

Olga Nadal is the author of The Holistic Divorce, which is coming out at the end of November. She is also the CEO of The Holistic Divorce Institute, which trains people to become holistic divorce coaches, as well as the founder of Divorce for Love, which coaches people going through divorce.

In This Episode We Talk About

00:36 – What is holistic divorce?
10:27 – What starting the process of divorce looks like.
12:35 – Managing a partner who is reacting poorly to the divorce.
14:42 – Managing the emotional side.
24:11 – Some of the big mistakes to avoid in the early stages.
34:23 – The logistical side of the divorce.
38:18 – What can friends do to help people going through this process?
43:06 – Dating after the divorce.

Watch the Video – Holistic Divorce With Olga Nadal

Listen to the Audio – Holistic Divorce With Olga Nadal

Resource Links

The Holistic Divorce
Co-Parenting Interview with Melissa Thimot
Olga Nadal Website
Divorce for Love
The Holistic Divorce Institute
@DivorceForLove on Instagram

Reflection Questions

  1. Did you know there was another option for divorce besides the traumatic fight we’ve come to know?
  2. What do you think about processing and dealing with emotions before tackling custody, assets, and litigation?
  3. If you’re thinking of separation or divorce, has this episode changed your perspective of how you want to handle things?
  4. How can you support a friend going through the divorce transition?

Read the Full Conversation

Now, this is a really big topic. So many people go through divorce, and what really gravitated me towards you was your holistic, positive approach to things. So I’d love to hear a little bit about what holistic divorce means to you, and what’s driven you to bring your career although all around this.

Well, yeah, a lot of people go through this – actually, the statistics are one in two marriages, and I believe that they’re gonna be even higher in the very near future. So what I’m trying to do is to create a new paradigm where we can create a holistic divorce structure, which basically means that we are going to deal with both the emotions and the logistics of divorce. In my opinion, it is the biggest issue that we’ve encountered with divorce up until now, and is why it’s gone out of hand, and everybody has such a traumatic experience with it. And it’s because in the past, we’ve only dealt with the logistics, which is the legalities of divorce. But now our consciousness is expanding, we are all becoming more evolved, and divorce is on the rise. So we’re finding a different, a more efficient way of doing it, which is, “let’s handle the emotions first,” because it is so much easier to achieve settlements and agreements once we remove the emotional component. And then we can sit down and negotiate. And that’s what we are proposing now, that’s what I work with with my clients, that’s what I try to get my coaches to do. And it’s definitely achieving the goal of having low conflict drama free divorces, I can claim the guarantee that none of my clients so far has ended up in court – which to me, that’s huge, because once you start this process, one of the biggest fears that people have is, “am I going to end up in front of a judge spending thousands of dollars and having a complete stranger decide what’s going to happen to a future.” And when they work with a holistic divorce approach, then we pretty much touch on all the dangerous places where they can fall off the wagon and end up in the court system, and we prepare for them so they can avoid that pitfall.

I love that, I have never heard anyone talk about the logistics and emotional side of it.

Well, I tell my clients when we first meet, I explain to them that most of the work that I do is emotional intelligence, which is something that should be taught in schools, but surprise surprise, there’s not a part in our curriculum that teaches that. With that, that emotional intelligence (that is composed of awareness and emotional fitness of practicing how to deal with those emotions) is incredibly difficult, especially when making really important decisions and critical decisions. So what I tell my clients is “you come to me being emotionally drunk, because you have this turmoil of emotions – justifiably so, I mean, you are ending a chapter of your life. Very often there are many issues that haven’t been handled during the marriage that people try to settle during the divorce. And one of my catchphrases is “the divorce is not a place where you settle emotional debts with financial assets.” But very often people try to do that, even if it’s subconsciously. So what I do with my clients is I make sure that they sober up. 

So in the past, we’ve kind of handed the keys to these people and said, “okay, drive yourself home. Good luck with it.” And what I propose now is like, no, no, no, no, no, have a mentor, have a coach next to you, that is going to sit with your emotions, is going to explain to you how to handle them and process them. And then once the emotions have taken a backseat, then I’ll explain all the legalities. And people start understanding then, because very often you sit down with a lawyer and they come out of that $300 session in tears because they’re like “I didn’t understand anything that they were saying.” They tend to use legal jargon. So with this process that I implement, they are in a much better mental space to sit down with a lawyer, and I’ve already explained the process to them. So when they sit down, they’re capable, they’re emotionally sober to make these financial and custodial decisions.

Now I could see you being similar – obviously they are quite different – but similar to when you’re in a doctor’s office getting the news of something really big, whether it’s cancer or something else. Once you hear that news, you’re not absorbing anything. And it’s just emotional overload, and you’re not able to even drive yourself home – they recommend someone else doing that. And at the time that you’re supposed to be getting all of this information, that’s really not helpful at all.

Jannine that is absolutely right. We are in a state that we cannot comprehend the information, and even outside of the lawyer’s office – most of my women come to me going like “you have no idea how many Google searches I’ve done. And I still do not understand the first thing.” The process, yes, I’ll agree, it’s not set up in the easiest manner, because the court system is just bureaucracy, so you can get lost if you try to navigate it on your own. But it really is not that complicated; it becomes really complicated because for the majority of people, they’ve never gone through anything to do with a lawyer. They think that this is a lawsuit, which it isn’t, and they’re terrified, just the concept of having to pay someone that is billing them per hour is enough to make them panic. 

And secondly, they usually just go through this process once and they never have to handle it. So nobody, again, trained us to do this. So they come to the table, completely unaware of what their rights are, and what they can expect. Their expectations need to be managed, because sometimes they’re on the completely opposite end of the spectrum of what reality is. So I get it. Nobody’s ever taught us how to end relationships, from the emotional energetic side of things, let alone the legalities of it. So yes, we sit down there – and I was the first one. I’m a business woman, I know all of the finances in my business, I am educated, I have a master’s degree. And when I started the process, I was just like, “I think I can build a house by myself easier than I can go through the divorce, because it was so just muddled and not easy to comprehend. So that’s why I think it’s vital. And I know that in less than a decade, that’s my prediction, everybody’s going to be doing divorce with a coach by their side. To me it’s kind of mind boggling that we have fitness coaches and nutritional coaches and anything coaches, but going through one of the most critical stages of your life, we decided that we just need a lawyer.

Yeah, with no real support.

Exactly. Or the support of a family and friends at work that, God bless them, they try their best, but they’re not professionally trained. And to me getting help from friends is almost like when you need a therapist’s help and you go to your friends. It’s just a very different kind of coverage that you need to go for. 

Yeah for sure. There’s a big difference between venting and getting things out with a friend, and then actually getting that professional support from someone that’s trained and knows what they’re talking about.

And in many cases it’s actually counterproductive, because you come to get advice from people that may have had a horrible experience. But just because they had a horrible experience doesn’t mean that yours has to be. Yet they can, for starters, put the fear of the system in you when there may be no need for it. Like I said, very often they come to me and say “my friend ended up spending $50,000 and three years in court. : And I go “well does she have me as her coach? No.Give me a chance, that’s not going to happen.” But we very often sort of operate on the presumption that whatever happened to our friends is what’s going to happen to us. Whatever happened to our parents is what’s going to happen to us. And I mean, the world is just changing by the minute. So even nowadays, up until recently, even if you thought that you were gonna end up in a courtroom, you weren’t, because now they’re doing most of the appointments through zoom. So I just want people to know that there are resources, there are options, it’s not our parents’ generation. When it comes to the motions and the legalities, everything has changed. It’s like somebody’s trying to use a landline for a phone when we have iPhones at our disposal. It’s like why are you making it so hard for yourself?

Yeah, it’s a completely different landscape now and you can really customize it. Like we can customize so many other things now to make it aligned with what’s right for you.

Exactly. And that’s what the divorce approach needs, it’s a very tailored approach. You need someone to sit with you and go, “okay, what are their emotions?” I think that it’s very important that both the marriage and the divorce story are honoured. And very often we tried to do that through our lawyers – and again, God bless them. They are amazing at interpreting the law, but they can’t tell you how to feel or how to process the anger or the betrayal of an affair. I’m gonna sit there and say, “I don’t know, what do you want me to do? What kind of custody do you want?” So it’s important that we realize that nowadays, we have that specialized help. And it’s not even just therapy, or coaching in general. It’s divorce coaching. And the ones that I’m training now are holistic divorce coaches. Its like, seriously, you have that specific help, you just have to go out and ask for it.

Absolutely. So what does kind of the beginning process look like for someone that you’re helping through this, in terms of the emotional side of things?

It very much depends on where in the process, they contact me. I love working with people who are thinking about divorce, because I love just going through, “okay, right, you haven’t made any mistakes, which is fantastic, because we don’t have to unravel something.” And we can really, honestly sit down here and figure out “is this the best option for you?” Because as much as I believe that divorce can be a great catalyst for amazing change and evolution, I also think that it’s not for everybody. So if you come to me, we can very openly discuss it. And I always offer a free consultation where we just sit down and say, “okay, what is your situation?” So if that’s the case, and you come to me at the beginning, then fantastic, because we can handle all the emotions, I train you on how to have the conversations to get your spouse on board, how to talk to the children, how to put together the team that is going to help you. So to me, that’s like, oh, my gosh, the cleanest of all processes. 

But sometimes I get people that come to me, and they’ve already started the divorce process. And they’re either completely overwhelmed and stressed, and they’re almost about to go like, “okay, I’m just gonna go back to my miserable marriage, just because I don’t know how to pull through with this.” Or they’re having a divorce that is really getting out of hand. And they’re like, “okay, that there has to be a way to reroute this process.” And so they come to me and we can – again, it’s a little bit of a harder process, and I’m not gonna lie, once mistakes have been made then we’re working with a much different beast. And that’s why sometimes I will not take a client, if I see that the damage is beyond repair. But in the majority of cases, especially if one person in the equation, in the couple, is really willing and determined to have a low conflict, drama-free divorce, I do believe that we can pull all the strategies that I have in my toolbox to make sure that we end up with that goal.

So you’d mentioned one person is really, really committed to a low conflict divorce. So you do believe that you can still have success, if the other person is quite the opposite of that?

I will not want to be quoted saying that!

Haha, there are no guarantees!

Because then somebody is going to come to me and be like, “okay, challenge accepted, and it’ll be the couple from hell that I can’t fix. But so far, the people that have come to me – and I think that that also has to do with a kind of marketing and the messaging that I put out there, which is very positive – they come to me going like, “okay, how can I how can I do this/” And they’re willing to do the work to accept the part of responsibility, to do the inner work to release fears and emotions. So they have the kind of personality that very rarely has attracted the complete opposite that is like, “I’m going to just go to war with you.” And I often say, very often when people come to me saying “my partner is narcissistic” (which, when it comes to divorce, pretty much every partner is a narcissistic character, and I don’t discount that many are). But very often what happens is it’s a very hurt human being. And we have to find ways to communicate with this person, and see if we can change the way that they have related in the past. So for the majority of my cases, that was easy to do. I’ve had a couple of cases where it was more complicated, just because the other partner was very hurt. And this is for another conversation, like how very often we stay in a marriage, trying to save it to the point where we do more damage that then when it comes to the divorce, one of the parties is like, “oh, no, no, now you’re gonna pay for what you put me through.” So there’s been a couple of cases that it was a little bit harder, but again, they may not be the best friends at the end of the process, but they signed the papers. Everybody was happy with the results, and they were able to move on with their lives.

So it is possible. Yeah, yeah. And what kind of emotional things would you say are priority to resolve or work through before going deep into the logistics sides of things?

Great question. I work with my clients on the emotional side first, and I have the five emotions of divorce that I say you’re gonna buckle up, because you’re gonna go on an emotional roller coaster of ups and downs. The ups can be great – the ups are this feeling of freedom, of you’re moving on with your life or the hope that life is going to be much better. And then there are the downs, where you feel the five emotions, primarily – all my clients felt this – and then sometimes we sprinkle other not so pleasant emotions. But the five main ones are shame, guilt, anger, fear, and grief. So those five are gonna be following you around through the whole process. And despite what some people claim, I don’t think that we’re supposed to remove the emotions from our makeup. I think that that only happens when we are six feet under. So what we’re trying to do in this situation is we’re trying to manage them; we very often talk about managing stress, well, we can manage all the other emotions just as we manage stress. 

So we work with guilt and shame. Those two are so prevalent, especially now, but I have all the hope in the world that they’re going to be eradicated, especially if my work succeeds in proving to the world that you can end marriages, and it’s not the coward option, it’s actually the most courageous option for many people, and that everybody in that particular situation can end up well off. But guilt and shame and shame right now are very prevalent. 

And fear, fear that you’re gonna mess up your life. And I came up with a concept called FOFO, which is fear of fucking it all up. The fear of fucking up is what gets us in general. That’s the one that everybody’s like, “oh, my God, what if I’m making a mistake? What if I sign something? What if my children hate me?” All the what-if’s and FOMO. What if everything goes well, you know, what if you fly, what if you soar? But no, we tend to go into the “I’m just going to be ruined.” So that’s another big one that we have to work on. 

And then grief, grief is major, because even in those marriages that really – I mean, they’re just not meant to be together, it’s really become a very destructive force. I mean, there’s still that grief of those dreams, and that ideal future that you had created with this person. Because I don’t know, maybe there is someone out there that does get married thinking at some point, we will part ways, but the majority of us are married and thought “this is forever and ever.” So you have to grieve that and you have to grieve the idea of this family as this unit with this dad, this mom and this children, not really going to be continued on a daily basis. I do claim that you can still continue the family, and I support fully those that can. It’s not for everybody. But you know, there are many that still have holidays together or go on trips. And that’s great. But if that’s not available for you, then there is a lot of grieving that has to happen, a lot of sadness with the process. 

And then the last one, what was it – anger? I mean, what do I need to explain? Very few people end their marriage, and they’re like, “oh, my God, I absolutely adore this human, I just don’t want to wake up with him or her.”

Yeah, that’s definitely not what it generally is like. That makes a lot of sense on the grief side. And I’ve seen that with families, too, that may have pictured having a certain number of kids a certain age apart. And whatever happens, that’s not the reality. And even in those situations, there’s a grieving process of grieving this picture you’ve had in your mind, perhaps since childhood. And it takes a lot to let that go.

There is also one that may help your community, because for the stay-at-home moms, they have to grieve that very likely, they will stop being stay-at-home moms. Some of them decide to continue being full time moms, and they have full custody. But for many of us, we chose to do 50/50 or some sort of shared custody. So we have to grieve that full time role as a mother. And, you know, depending on how you feel on that spectrum of emotions, that that could be a very big one. And for many of my women, we have to work through that feeling of you’re still an incredible mother and the time that you spend with them is going to be even more quality than before. But you know, there’s a grieving process, that we have to respect that they go, “well, I’m not going to see them every day.” And that’s hard for many of us.

Absolutely, I’ve heard that come up actually multiple times, within my community. I can’t imagine not being around my kids as much as I am. But one thing that came up with another UM Club interview that’s going to be coming out at the same week as this, is she came to the realization that in having the 50/50 custody, that she was able to 100% be there for her kids 50% of the time, and it actually really helped the relationship and how she felt about motherhood, being able to show up in that way instead of being stretched so thin all the time.

And that’s an excellent point that I discuss with all my clients when they come to me and I say, “okay, what are your expectations? What would you want in your ideal world/” And a lot of the stay-at-home moms, predominantly, say, “oh, I want to keep seeing my children every day, and maybe I’ll let them go with a dad for one night a week or something along those lines.” And I work on their mindset, and I work on letting them understand what then becoming a single mom means. And you know, I say there’s a difference between a divorce mom and a single mom – I consider myself a divorced mom, because I still have that full-on support. 50% of the time, the kids are with their dad. But if I were to take full custody, then I will be a single mom with a dad that comes and visits. So that’s an incredible amount of time and resources that you have to dedicate to your children. So I actually propose that doing something that goes along the lines of 50/50, or you know, 60/70 to 30/40, that’s more conducive for a happy mom and a happy dad. Because there is also the other half of the equation, which is that the dads also feel very much like, “well, I don’t want to lose access to my kids,” and the kids don’t want to lose access to any of us. So sometimes we have to make that little sacrifice to keep the family structure happy. And after having done 50/50 Since the beginning of our marriage, yes, I went through the grieving process at the beginning. But after that, I’m like, I’m a full on part-time mom. And I love it. Because yes, it gives me the time to write a book, to find my new husband, to start new businesses. To me it’s like you get the best of both worlds. But again, that’s one of those things that you have to work on a one-on-one basis – just because it works for me, it may not work for you. So I think that it’s very important that we honour everybody’s choices, just give them an option to be like, “hey, just so you know, I have a lot of my clients that come back to me and go like, oh my god, I really wish I had a weekend off.” And it was like, that’s what we talked about.

Absolutely, I could see it like, you’re really gaining something out of that, too. It’s not just the loss, there’s huge gains and really getting a huge part of yourself back.

For me, it was essential, especially because I didn’t have a very positive role model as my own mother. So when I became a mother, it was incredibly overwhelming for me. So the time that we divorced, and then I had that time for myself. It literally was a time when I learned how to be a mother away from my children. So then when I had my children, my healing was done, and then I could totally focus on them. Whereas before when I was in the marriage, I was just so lost and so overwhelmed and seeing them every day and taking care of them every day. And it was just throwing me into despair, which I know it sounds pretty hardcore for a mom to say that, but I have to be honest, that was my reality. And now it’s completely different. I get my children and everything else goes out the window, whereas before it was “okay children and I need to distract myself with something else because I’m just about to scream at you.”

Yeah, so many of us go through that too. It might sound kind of like oh, despair – but a lot of us go through that. Previously you touched on how you like to work with people when they’re first thinking of it to avoid mistakes. What are some of those big mistakes that you want people to avoid in this process?

Yes, thank you for asking this. For everybody listening, huge mistakes are going to war right from the get go. Like I said, I understand your emotions, your feelings are valid, but let’s make something productive out of them. And I’m not saying ever that you’re gonna lay down and take it. I’m saying let’s just do this in a smart way. And I have a whole background of business, so I know how to negotiate. I want to teach women that it is possible to get what you want without having to end up in court. Even though it’s necessary for some cases, for the majority of cases they shouldn’t be there. And that’s when they completely lose control, that’s when a judge is going to look at numbers, is going to look at reports from the evaluators, and is going to make a decision, and then you have to abide by it. So to me, it’s always about just don’t go to war – it’s avoiding the “I’m going to lawyer up, and this is war.” Just come and talk to me, we’ll deal with the anger, we’ll release that anger – if your partner is the one with the anger, we’ll find a strategy to make him or her understand that there are better ways of doing this. And then we can negotiate ourselves. When I say ourselves, it’s either with the two people, or if the communication has broken down and there’s a lot of conflict, we can always bring the mediators, we can bring arbitrators, and we can bring lawyers. Anything to avoid going to full nuclear war, which is we’re going to the courtroom. So that’s a huge mistake that I see people making. 

Another big mistake is what I was mentioning before, do not take any advice from relatives and friends. And I’m actually very strict with my clients. And I strongly suggest that unless they feel 1,000%, that they’re gonna support them, that they do not share the news until we’ve done all the emotional work, they’re on really safe ground, and then they feel like no matter what their friends and relatives are going to say, they’re going to be able to deflect their negative projections. Because otherwise, it can throw people in for a really bad spin. So be very careful with that advice that you get. 

Also getting a lawyer that doesn’t match your goals. And this is another area that we think, “oh, any lawyer will do.” But I think you have to be very, very specific and very particular about who you work with. So one of the things that I do with my clients is we go through an interview process for the lawyer where they know what questions to ask. Because as you were saying, on the example of the doctor, very often we feel that this authority figure is just telling us what we need to do. And that’s not true, they actually have to listen to what we want, and then find a way to get us that. But I get it;  we feel intimidated, we don’t know what we don’t know. So, to me, it’s very important that you choose a lawyer that you can really be heard, seen and understood by, so I teach my clients how to go through that process to pick the right lawyer. 

And another big mistake that I see people doing, which will be the last one, is not planning how to have the conversations. We think that we will just tell them, I’ll just tell my spouse “I am done.” And I’m like, oh, gosh, no, no, no, no, no. This needs a script and this needs preparation. I even have been doing hypnosis and visualization just so they are in the right mental frame to have the conversation. And it’s magic – all of my clients that came to me going “Olga, he’s never gonna listen to me (I work mostly with women), he’s not gonna listen to me, he’s already told me this is how it’s going to happen.” Let’s do the work and then go on. And I always get the email the next day after they plan to have the conversation, and they go “you won’t believe it. It was amazing. He said yes!” And then we work into how to have the conversation with the children, which is also a very crucial moment that needs to be prepared for. So I’m almost like those lawyers that prepare their clients to be on the witness stand. I prepare my clients to have those conversations because I think that that moment can send the whole process in one direction or another. So I think it’s very important that it doesn’t just get overlooked and someone just casually says “pass me the batter, we’re getting a divorce.”

Absolutely. And like you said, it’s such a pivotal moment, and for your whole life ahead, really, and you want to have preparation and you want to have support through that.

And very often the way that you express to your partner, why you want a divorce, how you want it, the reasons why you think it’s best to do it this way, it’s gonna make it or break it. You’re literally already playing the game of negotiation. And I’ve had partners that at first were completely against it. And then after a very sensible, smart, intelligent conversation with their partners, they go, “yeah, actually, this is the best course of action for us.” But again, we’re not taught that, we’re not taught how to use our words in an intelligent manner. And I teach my clients, as much as I can teach them, NLP (neuro linguistic programming), but it’s like your words have such an important effect on how the other person is going to act. So let’s script it. I also find what their partners – I call it the fighting style, which I say, “look, it’s not that they’re gonna fight necessarily, but we need to see how they react when they’re presented with information that they’re not gonna accept right away. So how do they react.” So we prepare for that. And then my client shows up to this conversation fully prepared for whatever their plan is gonna throw at them.

What a game changer. And I can see how the same is going to apply for those conversations with your kids too, and how they’re going to see this whole new scary process, what’s going to happen. But if you put that preparation in, you can do a lot for making them feel safe and loved and more positive about the experience.

30:52 Absolutely. And that’s another one that people have come to me after they had already told the kids in a really angry manner, after an argument, and the kids were freaking out, obviously, they were like “what’s going on.” And we have to then work backwards and be like, “okay, let’s sit down, see if you can come as a unified front, the two of you together,” if you still have the capacity to communicate that way. Let’s explain to the children what’s going to happen, the things to say, the things not to say because, again, even though children are incredibly resilient, they’re also very much modeling what we are putting for them. So if we sit down to have a conversation and start yelling at our partner, and at the same time, we’re saying, but this is gonna be a great thing for everybody involved, they’re going to be like “what?” So you really have to be very careful on how you’re gonna sort of embed this new concept into their consciousness.

Absolutely. So we touched on having the conversation, having the right lawyer, are there any other mistakes that you hope people can avoid?

Another one that I like to discuss on a one-on-one basis is when it comes to dividing the assets. Obviously, everybody’s goal is, “let’s be fair,” although some people kinda go “no, I absolutely want to take him or take her to the cleaners.” But again, those are usually not the people that I work with. But everybody wants to be fair, it’s just that when it comes to divorce, fair is a very funky word, what is fair for you may not be fair for me. And when we’re getting to this moment, where what you need for communication and negotiation to go the right way is trust and respect. And most of the time, those two values have gone out the window before we get these two people to sit down and negotiate. So very often, when it comes to the financial distribution of assets, people disagree enormously. 

And I see time after time, I see a pattern where very often the mom primarily wants to stay in the family home, just because they don’t want to disrupt the children, they don’t want to change too many things. And they like their home, and it’s a reminder that at some point, it was a happy place. Whatever the reasons are, financially as well, they feel secure keeping the home. But very often, I sat down with my clients and said, “okay, we’re gonna have to look at these numbers, can you afford this house? Is this gonna be a foreclosure in two years?” And we really have to sit down and look at numbers, especially for stay-at-home moms, depending on the kind of spousal support and child support that they’re gonna get. It may not happen, and I’d rather we have that difficult conversation now while we still sell the house, downsize, release money, everybody wins, then later on when the same day the agreements have been signed, they’re about to lose the home, and then they don’t know what they’re going to do. So that’s an interesting conversation that I’ve had, and luckily enough, I’ve been able to work my magic to make them understand that it was not going to be financially possible – for some, for others it’s like, “yeah, keep the house, keep the dog, keep everything.”

Yeah, every situation is so different.


So we touched on kind of going through the emotional side of things. So quickly, what’s kind of the logistical steps?

The logistical stuff is where I always recommend a lawyer, at least a consultation with a lawyer, because I want everybody to know their rights. And especially – well I don’t know in Canada, but in America, it changes depending on each state. We have different federal and state rules. So meet up with a lawyer, and I have a network, so depending on which state they are in, I’ll be like go and talk to my girl or go talk to this other lawyer. So have a free consultation, a lot of them do 15 minutes or 30 minutes free, or just pay for it, but make sure that you get to know your rights. Depending on how complicated the case is, how much animosity there is, how much we think that we can agree or disagree, then you may need to get a lawyer on retainer for the whole process. 

Or you don’t – very often, if we are able to come up with the agreements, we can negotiate either in person with them or through a mediator, then we can come up with an agreement that everybody’s happy with. And then it’s just signing the documents and presenting them to the court. So that’s an easy, simple way of doing it. I also recommend that you have a lawyer always verifying that, before you sign everything, again, your rights are protected. 

So that’s the way that most people do it, either with a lawyer or it’s very common now to do as well an online preparing system, so you have legal assistance. But they’re not really legally qualified to be a lawyer, but they can help you, they call them legal preparers, and they can help you prepare the online documents. So if you already know what the agreement is going to be, then all the bureaucracy, all the paperwork can be done through the services. So then it’s just a matter of literally filling out paperwork and presenting the motion, one of them, the petitioner presents it and the other one has to reply within 30 days. This is the part where even if I told you the whole process, nobody’s gonna capture it, it just has to happen. Once they’re ready for it, it’s like, “okay, step number one, fill out this form. Step number two, fill out this other form.” And the main thing is, as always, we just have to get to an agreement between the two people about financial settlement, custodial arrangements, and whether there’s going to be child support and spousal support. So when you break it down into those three areas, it’s not that hard. It’s just that the emotions come in, and then it’s so hard. Nobody wants to give, and I’m always trying to aim for a Win-Win-Win settlement, so my client, their partner, and their children win. So that’s when it gets a little bit emotional. But if at least one partner is on a good footing, then the other one usually follows suit.

Yeah. It’s easier to kind of calm someone down when you have that rock instead of two people going at it.

Exactly. Yeah, it takes two to tango, and it takes two to have a bad divorce. So again, there are people who are, I mean, determined to just make the other person suffer. But again, then there are strategies, now we say “okay, show a little bit of suffering.” What does he want that we can give him that it really won’t matter to you, but we can make it sound like it really matters? So then he or she will be like, “oh, great, I got the dog, and then you’ll be like, I wanted the dog.” You know what I mean? But that’s where I always come up with a list of negotiables: easy negotiables, not so easy negotiables. ‘Cause I said, they can’t be non-negotiable, just be open. Even if in the world, it just cannot exist, we’re gonna work on “okay, well, it’ll be a little bit harder to negotiate, but we’ll get there.” So we have a much broader spectrum to work with.

Yeah, absolutely. And so we’ve walked through a lot for the process of someone going through a divorce. I’m curious, any tips or insight you have for us supporting our friends going through this transition?

Oh, I love that. Because I think this is a critical component of changing the paradigm of divorce. And it’s that we need everybody educated on this new process. And we need a lot of non judgmental support. And that’s where I feel it’s so ingrained in our society to judge people who are either choosing to get a divorce, or they are being thrown into a divorce. And there is always judgment, and there is criticism, and there is “you should do this, you should do that.” And I try to educate people on just supporting them. Just ask them, what do they need? How can you be of help? You’ll be amazed by the amount of subtle projections that people throw at someone who’s just telling them “I’m about to go through a divorce,” and how that can throw them into depression, into a really chaotic state that is not needed. And if you really just want to support them, then just ask them, “how can I help you? What do you need?” Leave on the door or your opinions about it? That’s why I always say just tell them when you’re fully convinced and you’re fully strong about this, because if there is any remnant of doubt or questioning what is the right path, one negative comment from a close friend or relative can just give you that horrendous marriage forever. So yeah, just ask, “what do you need?” 

And one thing that I really don’t like people saying, and I know that we say it with the best intentions, when somebody announces to you that, oh, we’re going through a divorce, or we’re thinking about getting one, don’t don’t feel sorry for them and say, “oh my god, I’m so sorry, that must be horrible.” Because very often, we’ve already dealt with that grief, or we are in the process of dealing with that grief. And we just don’t need other people throwing a little bit of extra pity to our party. So the best thing to say for me is – and I know, again, this is a script – but I will say to someone, “okay, that’s a huge transition, how are you navigating it, what do you need? Can I help you with anything? I know about this resource.” Once my book is out, it’s like, “you need to hear about this lady, she has a book, here I’m gonna buy it for you.” 

And make sure that they feel supported, and they don’t feel judged, because going back to that whole shame and guilt – once we stop judging people, once once we stop criticizing them, then that shame and guilt is going to be gone, it’s going to be two emotions that we don’t have to deal with. So let’s just all do our part. And very often I say to people, “you may want to put all your projections and negative comments out there. But be careful because one in two marriages end up in divorce.” So, so often, I’ve had people that came to me while I was going through my divorce, and gave me all their opinions and told me how my life was gonna be ruined, blah, blah, blah. And now they’re coming to me for advice on divorce. So be very careful what you project out there. Just just give love and support. That’s all they need through this process.

Love and support, and just remembering this is not an easy decision to come to. Anyone that’s made this decision has thought long and hard about it. We do not need to question that.

41:55 Thank you. Yes. That’s just the bottom line, come on. Let’s give them a little bit of grace. Because that’s another comment that really rubs me the wrong way, when they say “oh, divorce is the coward’s way out.” It’s so brave to go through this rite of passage that is so criticized, and is so confusing. I think that to me, the coward’s way to stay in an unhappy marriage, just because you don’t want to go through this or because you’re scared and you don’t want to feel the fear. So I have so much respect for everyone going through divorce, and I see now with my clients and even friends, the ones that have gone through a divorce, they have superpowers. I mean, those are the really Boss Babes out there doing incredible work, because they’ve gone through this fire, and they had a lot of dark nights of the soul, and they pulled through. And if they got a coach, and they learned the emotional intelligence of how to deal with it, my goodness, nobody’s going to stop them now. You know what I mean? So to me, they’re very, very brave souls, I take my hat off.

Absolutely. I completely agree. Well, I think we’ve done a really great job of covering the process, how we can support people. We do have one question from the community and that is, how do we deal with, or tips for dealing with, the guilt that can come with dating after divorce?

Yeah, that’s a good one. Well, dating after divorce – I have a whole chapter in my book, because it’s not an exact science. The jury’s still out as to how you date after divorce. I want to say first that people shouldn’t be scared of the process of dating, dating nowadays can actually be a lot of fun. And I know that previous generations, they were very scared with that belief of “if I leave this marriage I’m gonna be alone forever.” That’s not the case anymore, unless you want to, then you have the choice. But if you want to, go into social media or dating apps, you can have a blast. Now the guilt that comes from dating, I suppose it will be towards their children or their ex. And I think it’s one of those emotions that you have to sit with and go “what is the programming, what is the belief behind this that is making me feel guilty? Is it because my ex’s happiness is more important than mine? Is it because of something with my children?”

If you have the 50/50, then whatever you do in your free time – hey why not? Their mama is gonna come back to their children fully recharged, when she is reconnecting with her sensuality. So I presume the question is the guilt towards the ex. And that to me is where honouring the marriage story is so important, to really thank the person. I do a process called Ho Oponopono, which is based on a Hawaiian technique from here, from Hawaii. And it’s where we say, through our ritual, we write down the reasons why we love our partner, we thank them, we apologize for any mistakes that we’ve done in the past. And I think that that’s a good way of completing the process and saying this was either beautiful or awful, it doesn’t matter. I thank you, I love you, especially if they brought children to you through this marriage. And then please, sorry for anything that I’ve done. And that includes in the future; if you dating in the future upsets them, that’s for them to handle. But I don’t like guilt. Guilt and shame to me are two emotions that are manufactured by society. And I don’t think that anyone should feel guilty for dating after divorce actually, power to you, go on a date. I mean, if it comes to when we introduce a new partner to the kids, how do we know if this is the one, that’s a different conversation. But if you’re just talking about “I just want to go on a date with someone and I’m not feeling comfortable with that decision because of guilt,” then just remove it.

You just gotta dive deep into where’s that coming from, and move through and past it.

Correct. A lot of the exercises that we do are about, okay, let’s sit with the emotion. Let’s see where in the body you’re feeling it, let’s see if it comes with some programming from the past, you’re just reliving an experience from the past. Let’s make peace with that and see what the message is. And then we can release it. And it goes on its merry way. And very often, things that will make you feel guilty or shameful before – once you process the emotion, they have no energetic charge anymore.

Yeah, I love that. Yeah, it’s just the release, right?

Absolutely. That’s one thing, why I love the divorce process. I think that we get to process a lot of emotional wounds from our childhood and from past relationships. If we do it properly, everything is going to come to the surface. And that’s your chance to say, “okay, I got the time and the space and the guidance of a coach. Let’s look at these things.” And then you’re able to move forward without those feelings of guilt, of shame, of resentment or anger. You learn how to process them. So next time in your life, anything hits you that is like, “oh my god, I’m feeling so ashamed about this,” then you know, okay, this is the process, step 1,2,3,4, okay shame, goodbye.

Yes, I love it. Okay, well I am feeling empowered and just so much more positive about this whole thing after this conversation. Where can everyone find you? Because whether they’re going through the process or know someone that is, I think they need to find you.

Yeah, well, thank you so much, Jannine. And, yeah, I’d just like everybody to know that they have access to inspiration, education and mentorship. That’s what, to me, are the three pillars that you need to go through a divorce. So I put all of that on my website, olganadal.com. So you can find me there. And that’s where you’ll find Divorce for Love, which is the company that I created to coach people through the divorce process. There is the Holistic Divorce Institute, which is where I train other people to become holistic divorce coaches. My book is in there as well. And if you want to follow my day to day life that’s on Instagram that’s @DivorceForLove. And I also do a lot of resources there, and I’m going to be giving away a lot of stuff with the launch of the book, the whole month of November we’re launching. So you really want to go to my Instagram, send me a DM, say “book,” and then I’ll get you in with all the goodies and yes, just spread the word. Let people know that there is hope and there is a strategy. Divorce does not have to be that traumatic and the most important thing is you do not have to do it alone. This is not a lone wolf kind of process.

Yes. And  no one should have to go through it alone. Well, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today. This is so jam packed with information, just really uplifting. I really appreciate it – and to everyone inside the UM Club, after this is posted on Thursday, We’re going to have our hang out and chat about things a bit more. So I’d love to see you there as well. So thank you, Olga.

Thank you so much, Jannine. I hope this was helpful. Thank you!


If you liked hearing this chat with Olga, make sure to join our UM Club Hangout on Thursday at 8:15 pm pst! We’re going to be talking through everything that was said on this episode and connect and hear yours and other moms thoughts and experiences. Make sure to come and join our chat, and as always, we’ll see you next week!

Reflection Questions