Cheryl Dillon, Divorce Coach

Cheryl Dillon, Divorce Coach

Equitable Mediation Divorce Coach Cheryl Dillon is passionate about helping couples attain a peaceful, fair and cost-effective divorce while putting their children first. When she’s not supporting her clients through the emotional aspects of this significant life transition, you can find her trying to stick to an exercise program, tending to her garden, watching Cubs baseball, and trying to persuade Joe to let her adopt 5 or 10 more dogs.

Recent posts by Cheryl Dillon, Divorce Coach

Should I Get a Divorce?

By Cheryl Dillon, Divorce Coach

When is it time to divorce?

There can be countless reasons you're wondering when to divorce.



Sexless marriage or lack of intimacy.

Or maybe you've simply grown apart.

Regardless of the reasons, how do you know if what you're going through is just a rough patch or something more lasting? Are you justified in feeling the way you do?

Are you making more out of things than they really are? Can your marriage be saved?

Or is your marriage beyond repair?

Making the decision to end your marriage may very well be among the biggest decisions you will ever face in your life and it will affect you for many years to come - especially if you have children.

And while there’s no easy answer to the question, “Should I get a divorce?” there are certain signs of divorce and things to consider that may help you decide if you should stay married or when to leave a marriage.

Topics: Considering Divorce

Divorce After 20 Years of Marriage or More

By Cheryl Dillon, Divorce Coach

  • Divorce after 20 years or more is a complex undertaking with a lot at stake.
  • There's very little guidance on how things should be divided and decided and both family and financial dynamics will play key roles in how you move forward.
  • Here's what you can do to understand the issues you'll be facing and plan a smart course of action to preserve wealth and minimize legal bills if you're divorcing after 20 years or more.

If you've decided to divorce after 20 years or longer, you're probably feeling very alone. Like you're the only couple in the world facing divorce after 50.

But despite what you hear about the falling rate of divorce proceedings, getting divorced after 20 years of marriage - even after 25 and 30 years for that matter, is not only common these days, but it's on the rise.

According to Bowling Green University's National Center for Family & Marriage Research, from 1990 to 2012, the divorce rate for 55 to 64-year-olds more than doubled, while the rate of divorce for the 65 and older population tripled!

There are many reasons for a divorce at midlife - also known as gray divorce.

But regardless of why older couples are choosing to divorce after staying together for so many years, it’s important to understand that divorce in a long-term marriage is markedly different and much more complicated than divorce after 10 years or less.

Let's take a closer look at how divorcing after 20 years of marriage (or more) can impact the specific financial, emotional and parental issues you'll face as you go through your divorce.

Topics: Planning for Divorce Divorce Mediation

How to Tell Your Spouse You Want a Divorce

By Cheryl Dillon, Divorce Coach

Ok, that’s it – you can't do it anymore. You’re done.

You’ve tried your hardest, but you just can’t seem to make your marriage work.

You want a divorce.

But how do you start a divorce conversation with your spouse without devastating them or triggering an all-out war?

One of the most common questions we're asked about is how to tell your spouse you want a divorce.

Well, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but here are a few tips for how to ask for a divorce nicely and help make an uncomfortable conversation go as smoothly as possible:

Topics: Planning for Divorce Divorce Support Divorce Mediation Popular

How to Find Good Divorce Mediation Near Me

By Cheryl Dillon, Divorce Coach

  • The mediator you hire to guide you through the divorce process is just as important as the decision to use mediation itself.
  • Hiring the best and most competent mediator will make all the difference in how peaceful and cost-effective your divorce will be. And how fair, thorough and child-focused your agreement will be.
  • Here are the criteria to use when evaluating the qualifications of a mediator. And how to determine if the person you're considering is competent and best qualified to help you.

You want a divorce.

And you want to mediate.

Which is more than I knew when my ex-husband and I made the decision to end our marriage.

We hadn't ever heard of mediation. All we knew is we wanted to get an uncontested divorce without lawyers and respectfully resolve our issues out of court. And we didn't want to go broke in the process.

A friend told me about mediation and I found a divorce mediator near me. And luckily, my mediated divorce case went quite smoothly. My now ex-husband and I completed the process in a few months and our entire divorce cost less than we would have spent on the attorney retainers alone.

But as you probably already know, making the decision to use mediation is only a small part of the divorce process.

You also need to figure out how to find a mediator for divorce who is competent and qualified.

Because the mediator you hire to guide you through the divorce process is just as important as the decision to use mediation itself.

So what are the criteria to use when evaluating the qualifications of a mediator? And what do you need to know about how to find a good divorce mediator and determine if the person you're considering is competent and best qualified to help you?

Luckily you've come to the right place because those questions and more will be answered in this post...

Topics: Planning for Divorce Divorce Mediation Popular

Why Divorce is Good: What You Learn About You Through Divorce

By Cheryl Dillon, Divorce Coach

Years ago, when I was in the middle of a divorce, I remembered thinking I'd never be happy again.

My life was in such turmoil and I was so consumed by sadness and anger that I couldn't imagine any future where I would be over my bad marriage or divorce, let alone be able to learn, heal, grow and move on.

If you are preparing to start the divorce process or are currently in the midst of your own divorce, you can probably relate!

But I want you to know that there is a such thing as a positive divorce.

Topics: Divorce Support Considering Divorce

I Want a Divorce But My Husband Doesn't

By Cheryl Dillon, Divorce Coach

Chances are, when you got married, you and your husband were both equally excited to start your new life together. Unfortunately, when it comes to ending a marriage, the situation isn’t always so balanced.

Many women call us and say, "I want a divorce but my husband doesn’t. What can I do? Can you tell me how to divorce my husband?"

If your husband doesn't want to divorce, it can be incredibly frustrating for a wife.

But let's get one thing straight right off the top...

If a woman wants a divorce, both spouses are getting a divorce.

Wives don't need their husbands' permission to divorce them. But how you proceed – and how difficult you make it on yourself and your children, is up to both of you.

You see, the way your divorce kicks-off will set the tone for the rest of how the divorce process unfolds as well as the future of your relationship as co-parents.

Topics: Planning for Divorce Divorce Support

My Husband Wants a Divorce. What Do I Do?

By Cheryl Dillon, Divorce Coach

When you and your husband decided you’d stay home and raise the kids, it was a decision you both felt good about.

"We’re a team" - you thought."

"What’s his is mine. And what’s mine is his. We’re building a life together."

Not once in your life did you ever think you’d one day be thinking to yourself, “My husband wants a divorce but I don't. What do I do?”

But here you are. And you’re reluctant to divorce because you're scared of what the future holds for you and your kids.

With good reason.

Topics: Planning for Divorce Divorce Support Divorce Mediation

I Want a Divorce But My Wife Doesn't

By Cheryl Dillon, Divorce Coach

“I want a divorce but my wife doesn’t!”

You didn’t make the decision to divorce quickly.

In fact, most husbands take at least two years from the time the thought first enters their mind until the time they tell their wife they want to end the marriage.

So what happens when as an unhappy spouse, you finally muster up the courage to have that difficult conversation, only for your wife to tell you she’s not ready or unwilling to take that step?

Or, she doesn’t deal with the situation at all, thinking that if she refuses to cooperate, the divorce won't or can’t happen?

What can you do when as a husband you want a divorce but your wife doesn’t? Will you be forced to remain in your unhappy marriage for the rest of your life?

Topics: Planning for Divorce Divorce Support

Does Marriage Counseling Work?

By Cheryl Dillon, Divorce Coach

There are many reasons that lead a couple to seek a marriage counselor. They could be experiencing a lot of prolonged conflict or other problems between them, one or both might have been unfaithful or there could just be silence between them.

But no matter the reason(s), when a couple does finally go to see a couples counselor, they’re often at a stage where it’s their very last hope.

Marriage counseling sessions can help a couple address the issues they’re facing now and also lay a foundation to help them better deal with future issues.

And while sometimes, one spouse already knows they want to divorce and they’re bringing the counselor on board to help soften the blow, most go to counseling because they truly want to try to work things out and save the marriage.

But does marriage counseling work? How long should a couple invest in marital counseling?

And what are some signs to indicate that their relationship is getting back on track? Or signs to indicate it might be time to throw in the towel and call it quits?

By the way, I know first-hand that marital counseling shouldn't only be considered successful if the marriage can be repaired. Because it can also be successful if it helps a couple recognize they’re not in a healthy relationship and then gives them the encouragement they need to focus on a respectful divorce using mediation.

I asked a panel of respected therapists how to know if marriage counseling is working. Here’s what they said…

Topics: Considering Divorce