A course to support & encourage people to achieve a better divorce

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Why us?

Why create the Better Divorce Course?

Divorce and relationship breakdown changes people’s lives. The changes that happen after divorce and relationship breakdown can affect the behaviour and wellbeing of you and your children. But the pressures of the divorce process itself can also do that.

Our core belief is that as long as one of you is consistently willing to make the effort to reduce the pressures of the divorce process and all that that entails, the divorce will be better. And we believe that by thinking about what you want your life to look like after the changes that follow divorce and relationship breakdown, you are more likely to get a better outcome.

We have created a course that will help you achieve this. Our aim is to empower you to be able to have a better divorce relationship transition and to take ownership of the process., The choices that you make during the divorce/separation process will be more important than what your lawyer or your friends tell you or how you feel right now.


What is the purpose of the Better Divorce Course?

The purpose of the course is for you to achieve a “better divorce” than you would if you weren’t on the course.  It will help you to:


Transition to a life which comes after divorce/separation


Do what is best for any children in your family


Reduce the emotional and financial cost of the divorce/separation process


Transition to a life which comes after divorce


Do what is best for any children in your family


Reduce the emotional and financial cost of the divorce process

How it works

What will you do on the course?

  • Learn about the divorce/separation process
  • Approach divorce in terms of six key areas (children, home, finances, career, interests and relationships);
  • Learn how to look after yourself during the divorce process by building your resilience;
  • Define goals and plans as you move through the divorce process;
  • Increase belief that you can achieve your goals and execute your plans;
  • Join a network of people who are also experiencing divorce or separation and who can support and challenge you.

How it works

What will it be like on the course?

  • We believe that most people are more capable than they realise of working out their goals for the divorce process and how best to achieve them.
  • The course is informative and has a structure but it’s not all “divorce lessons”. Everyone in the room will have valuable information and experience to share.
  • We assume people on the course will collaborate and interact.
  • What people get out of the course will depend on how they prepare and turn up for each meeting; and what you do after the meetings.


What are the practical details?

The Better Divorce Course is a 6 part, small group course held over 6 weeks. The course is offered free because we are kindly funded by Essex County Council. The next course starts on the 10th July 2023 – 2nd October 2023 and will be delivered using the Zoom video conference system.

The course is offered in two ways:

Face to Face

Face to face sessions in Chelmsford are currently not taking place and all sessions are being delivered online via Zoom.

Over video

The courses are delivered to small groups using the Zoom video conference system. The next course starts on the 10th July 2023 and will run for 6 weeks, meeting for 90 minutes every other week. Dates for future courses will be confirmed in due course.

The Team

Who runs the course?

The course is run by the people who designed it:

Together, they offer a combination of transformative coaching and legal knowledge in the family law that will arm you with the ability to take control of your divorce. Because ultimately, this is about you and what you can do about making your future better.

Executive Coach & Facilitator

Jonny Searle

Jonny Searle is an Executive coach and facilitator who spent many years working in business as a lawyer. Jonny has been divorced himself. He strongly believes in the ability of people to look after themselves, create their own happiness and to work collaboratively to find better outcomes after the breakdown of relationships.


Family Law Solicitor

Shalaleh Barlow

Shalaleh Barlow is a Family Law Solicitor at Central Law CIC, the only not for profit law firm in the country. She is also a trained Mediator as well as being a “child of divorce” herself. In addition to her legal practice, Shalaleh campaigns for the rights of children to have a family life with both parents.


What people say



Court Facts


private children’s law cases (disputes over children that do not involve the local authority), which on average took 29 weeks to final order. From that figure assume that is over 100,000 children involved in litigation just starting that year. These cases are in addition to those children already in the Court system.


cases started in the family court.

57 weeks

The average divorce took 57 weeks from Petition to Decree Absolute (i.e. when the marriage is dissolved)


Only 19% of cases had both litigants represented at Court. The rest were litigants in person.

Contact us

How do I join the course?

Write to us at: info@betterdivorcecourse.org if you are interested in finding out more information. Please note that spaces are limited.

    Face to Face courseOnline course