Updated: Jul 14, 2022
Luck or fortuitous circumstances helped Scott Coopersmith, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and Susan Bernstein, Certified Divorce Coach, create a unique alliance in the divorce arena. Coopersmith and Bernstein were introduced pre COVID through a mutual contact at The National Association of Divorce Professionals (NADP). After some casual small talk and getting to know each other it was discovered they both had common goals plus a similar approach.
Ilyssa Panitz: What is a Certified Divorce Coach (CDC)?
Susan Bernstein: A certified divorce coach is a trained professional who helps individuals pre, during and post-divorce with the emotional aspect of divorce to prepare them for the legal and financial parts. A CDC helps get divorcees unstuck and focusing forward by having them gain clarity to achieve their goals and overcome obstacles with an individual strategic action plan.
Ilyssa Panitz: Tell us about your experience and practice?
Susan Bernstein: I earned both a Certified Divorce Coach and High Conflict Divorce Coach certificate as well as Certified Post Divorce Transition and Recovery and Pre-Mediation Divorce Coach training. I use this and my real-life experiences to help my clients save time, money, and headaches to get through their divorce as smoothly as possible. I also teach other coaches best practices I’ve learned and use through two different programs. I have a niche of helping families going through divorce with special needs children who require additional details in their agreement. My background and Doctorate in Education helps me assist my clients with parenting plans and custody battles every day.
Ilyssa Panitz: What brought you and Scott together to form this partnership?
Susan Bernstein: Scott and I were introduced through a mutual colleague and instantly learned we both had a passion for helping individuals going through divorce. We also both firmly believe in the team approach with him getting the financials in order and me helping individuals find the right emotional mindset to strategize best outcomes. We help the client find the right mediator or attorney as well as other professional resources for their specific needs.
Ilyssa Panitz: What are the benefits of having a Divorce Coach, such as yourself and a financial expert, such as Scott on the same team while you are going through a divorce?
Susan Bernstein: The benefits of having a certified divorce coach (CDC) and certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) are that we are the client’s secret weapon or strategist to empower them to gain clarity, know their numbers with tax implications and projections to communicate effectively to their attorney/mediator or soon to be ex and make offers that get them the goals they want.
Ilyssa Panitz: How do you get your clients to see the big picture so they can make the right decisions when emotions are so high?
Susan Bernstein: We help our clients understand they do not need to be stuck with only one option. We discuss possible paths to take and pros and cons for them and their children (if they have) and best options. Susan also ensures are focusing forward as well as doing self-care every day to feel confident in the decisions they have chosen.
Ilyssa Panitz: How can you and Scott add value to someone’s situation?
Susan Bernstein: Our goal, each and every time, is for our clients to leave with an individual strategic action plan that is specific to their case because each divorce is so different. We empower our clients by educating them and helping them think “out of the box” for creative solutions to maximize their outcomes so they can not only survive, but thrive in their next chapter.
Ilyssa Panitz: Is this economically affordable?
Susan Bernstein: Absolutely, 100%. Daily, I have clients tell me that even one piece of information was worth every penny. For example, I help my clients with all the details of their contract so their ex can’t take them back to court to waste more time and money. I brainstorm safeguards in their agreement to make sure their ex has consequences if the agreement is not followed. With my clients who have special needs children I help them add sections on guardianship, so they don’t have another court battle when their children are of emancipation age. Scott adds similar value to our clients by showing them discrepancies in net worth asset/debt worksheets and analyzing their monies. We use his financial info to empower their decision making!
Ilyssa Panitz: Why are you and Scott a winning combination?
Susan Bernstein: Scott and I are both passionate about what we do, and our goal is to make a positive difference in divorcees lives. We are there for our client’s whenever they need and always offer a complimentary info gathering session. We are aware of the latest trends in divorce so we can prepare our clients with realistic expectations. I am a leader for the National Association of Divorce Professionals and Vesta Divorce at a local and National level. Scott and I also offer a free monthly meet up zoom session where we answer questions and discuss mistakes to avoid when going through divorce.