This divorce coach advises couples on 'happy splits'

Emma Heptonstall was previously a criminal and family lawyer

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Woman who 'coaches' couples in divorce

She was a high-flying lawyer who traded it all in to become a divorce coach advising women how to leave their husbands.

Emma Heptonstall, who is single, took voluntary redundancy from her job as a solicitor to transform herself into a self-proclaimed "divorce alchemist".

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The 44-year-old says she teaches people - but mainly women - how to have "happy splits" from their spouse.

Emma, who worked as a criminal and then family lawyer, has also revealed the shocking truth about how many women have affairs behind their husband's back.

Emma, who insists her single status makes her objective, said: "I'm the divorce alchemist for ladies who leave.

Credits: PA Real Life

Emma says being single helps her to be objective

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"I know some people think I am not in a position to advise, having never been married , but I think that makes me objective.

"I'm not going to compare my situation with other people's because I haven't been in it."

Emma, who currently lives in York but will shortly be moving to West Sussex, admitted most of the women she helped – a staggering 90 percent – were having affairs.

But she stressed she did not judge.

She said: "The reason that people cheat is because they are unhappy. I don't sit in judgement. That's not my job. My job is to coach people through their divorces.

Credits: PA Real Life/Olivia Brabbs Photography

Emma says a staggering 90% of the women she has seen have admitted to affairs

"While most of the women who are leaving their husbands, about 90 percent are doing so because they have had or are intending to have an extra-marital affair, it is not the only reason."

Emma, who launched her business in January 2015, has seen it go from strength-to-strength.

A one-day session with her, with written action plan, costs £2,000, while a three-month action plan costs double that – and some clients have stayed for as long as 12 months.

It has been so successful she has even written a book, How To Be A Lady Who Leaves, which advises people how to have happy divorces.

It also charts Emma's, experiences helping up to 30 people including, on one memorable occasion, a couple, who were seeing her separately.

Credits: PA Real Life/Olivia Brabbs Photography

Emma has helped up to 30 people have a "happy split"

She said: "I made sure they didn't discuss what we'd said in sessions to each other. It was confidential, as it is with all my clients."

University of Keele graduate Emma initially started her career as a magistrates' clerk before focussing on family law.

She believes her time spent unravelling complex issues – like custody of children – helped prepare her for coaching.

Emma said: "Lawyers resolved practical issues where people were, understandably, emotional. But lawyers weren't equipped to deal with the emotional issues.

"Once I started coaching training and looking at peoples' issues emotionally as well as practically it made for happier divorces.

Credits: The Image Bank

Emma says a "miniscule" number of couples decide to stay together

"It made me realise there was a market for what I do. That there was something in it."

Most of her clients end up leaving their spouse – however, a "miniscule" amount have decided against divorce.

She said sessions help people understand whether their problems stem from them, or their marriages.

Emma added: "If they are unhappy with themselves, they will still be unhappy once leaving a marriage."

Emma is particularly interested in women who have been disempowered during the course of a marriage.

She said: "So many women I talk to have been disenfranchised during a marriage. They don't know what their mortgage payments are, how much money they have – things like that.

"They earn 'housekeeping money.' It's bonkers. It's 2017. I help them learn about things like that."

Despite her background and training, Emma said she no longer describes herself as a lawyer – but doesn't identify as a counsellor either.

She said: "What I do is very future-focused. It's about moving on, and ensuring happy divorces. I'm not a marriage-wrecker."

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