About the Author

Diana Shepherd, CDFA®

Diana Shepherd has over 30 years of experience as a marketing, branding, SEO, copywriting, editing, and publishing expert. As Content Director for Family Lawyer Magazine, Divorce Magazine, and Divorce Marketing Group, she oversees all corporate content development and frequently creates SEO-friendly videos, podcasts, and copy for family law and financial firms. The Co-Founder of Divorce Magazine and Divorce Marketing Group, Diana is an award-winning editor, published author, and a nationally recognized expert on divorce, remarriage, finance, and stepfamily issues. She has written hundreds of articles geared towards both family law professionals and divorcing people, and she has both performed and taught on-page SEO for 20+ years. Diana spent eight years as the Marketing Director for the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts® (IDFA®), and she has been a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® since 2006. While at IDFA, she wrote, designed, and published The IDFA Marketing Guide, and she also created seminars for CDFA professionals to present to family lawyers (approved for CLE), as well as to separated and divorcing individuals. She has represented both DMG and IDFA at industry conferences and events across North America, and she has given marketing as well as divorce financial seminars at many of those conferences.


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    Kate Scharff

    Elaine- – such a great point. It’s often very difficult to help clients to understand that you are not serving their interests by simply supporting them in every idea, wish, and feeling. A healthier client may “get it” when you explain to them that understanding the other side of the story will help you to find mutually agreeable solutions (which is almost always better than litigating). They may also accept your saying that their desired outcome is unrealistic, so that when you challenge them to consider new options you are simply helping to manage their expectations and get the outcome closest to their goals. A less healthy client may become furious when you don’t simply toe the line, and may accuse you of not understanding, not caring, or not being proactive on their behalf. As mental health professionals working in the area of separation and divorce, Lisa and I have faced these same challenges. If you feel like it, check out our book “Navigating Emotional Currents in Collaborative Divorce.” Even if you’re not a Collaborative practitioner, you may find some practical advice there– particularly in the chapter of the “The Rigidity/Flexibility Continuum.” All the stuff in there we learned the hard way!

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    Kevin Scudder

    Another great article from the Scharff / Herrick Duo that brings more light to the issue of “How do Collaborative trained Lawyers Litigate?”

    Coming next?: “How do Collaboratively Trained Coaches/Financials/Parenting Specialists act in Litigation Cases?”

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    Thomas Cardwell

    Great article. I find this same process of careful listening, healthy skeptisim, complete information gathering and acknowledging a person is heard very useful in my work as a college administrator. I listen intently but make it clear I am in an investigative mode and do not necessarily endorse or agree with what the person has argued. I do sometimes talk to parties several times in the attempt to form a complete picture. I do acknowledge that in theory certain things if true would “not” be good. After awhile most people come to respect the process though not all. I won’t be bullied by those who come to the table with the presumed entitlement to abuse others.

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    The article, very appropriately deals with a very sensitive issue that every lawyer must practice when dealing with their clients. Listening carefully to the clients helps you better assess the situation and gather complete information to understand the clients. As a Personal injury lawyer Seattle, we make it sure to be empathic and build up trust through listening to our client’s point of view. It gives us more confidence to better evaluate the situation and thus give better consultation .


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