Six Questions With Suzy Miller

Suzy Miller is a Divorce Strategist who lives in Forest Row. Her ideal work space is a wooden octagonal yurt in her garden.

What’s a Divorce Strategist?
Think of me as a travel guide through divorce. I help people navigate the landscape of divorce in much healthier ways than they might otherwise. I have nothing against lawyers, but lawyers are not always necessary all the way through the divorce process – there are other professionals who are more relevant at different stages.  A holistic approach keeps the divorce healthier.

Healthier, how?
There’s very little law in family law. This means most of the divorce process is financial and emotional. Especially if there are children, people’s judgement tends to be clouded and driven by anger and fear. The focus should be on the needs of all parties especially the children. When I give people a strategy for a better divorce, I do two things: help them gain an awareness of their behaviour – help them move from blame to compassion. It’s a very challenging time of one’s life: anger, hurt and upset aren’t unnatural. Secondly, I direct people to the appropriate professionals including counsellors and coaches and dispute resolution professionals such as mediators, collaborative lawyers and arbitrators. I help them with the practical side as well. People rarely seek advice from experts such as financial planners, who I connect them with where relevant.

Inheritance Planning & Divorce

Suzy Miller – Divorce Stragegist

What’s a ‘normal’ divorce?
The traditional form of family law system is basically toxic. It’s an administrative system focused on ending the marriage contract. It’s not created by people conversant of the massive enormity of the emotional and psychological journey divorce can be, of the possible repercussions, to one’s family, work place, and the wider family. So, it can be very clinical and can cause a lot of problems because people can make silly mistakes, that can really upset the future ex and cause an awful lot of easily avoided problems. Even a simple divorce can end up turning nasty. In this system one can end up broke, on antidepressants and physically ill. I recommend a peaceful approach to avoid that happening.

A divorce which goes to court can easily cost each party £25,000 – £30,000. That’s the children’s university fees… or other expenses better spent on the children. I create lots of free resources. I’ve online resources that educate people about their choices and how to avoid the pitfalls. Some have spent thousands in court, and don’t want to continue down that path any more. I can provide an alternative, simply by providing information no one had previously offered or made adequately clear to them. By handing over all their power to a lawyer and expecting them to run their whole divorce for them, a couple can end up before a judge. Why pay all that money to give away their power to a stranger who doesn’t even know their family.

How do they find you?
Mostly I get referrals from other professionals. I have a directory of experts on the alternative divorce directory, where I collect professionals, whether they’re mediators, collaborative lawyers, financial and wellbeing experts. I’m on YouTube, I have a Facebook support group called ‘The Best Way to Divorce’. I offer, my strategy sessions remotely, guiding individuals towards a better way to divorce, and helping them to access dispute resolution.

How did Suzy Miller get here?
I was in the film and television industry, but stopped to have children. Overnight – I didn’t see it coming – I became a single mum. I was blindsided – bewildered and unprepared. Luckily many of the people I bumped into in my village were professionals such as coaches and counsellors, so I realised how vital those interactions had been in helping me to stay grounded. Our separation could have become nasty but I managed to avoid the mire. From my own personal and professional experience I know it is possible to have a healthy separation and co-parent effectively – despite times of inevitable disagreement and conflict. I’d observed several nasty divorces, and it really bothered me, so, in 2010, I hosted the UK’s first divorce fare. My mission is to help potential divorcees chart a better course, and help professionals understand how to collaborate to better help their clients.  I am also a passionate advocate of dispute resolution.  I believe that in war of family separation, that peace should be our weapon of choice.

What to read next: I’m Reminded of Cassie Unger