Dr. Elizabeth Degi DuBois, PhD
Client Relations Director & Divorce Coach
“I partner hard-won lessons from my own divorce, my work as a private divorce coach, and my doctoral training in family conflict to support our clients through their darkest moments”
Meet Dr. DuBois: I have the honor of serving as Maryland’s first in-house Divorce Coach thanks to Z Family Law’s commitment to supporting our clients using holistic, innovative methods that recognize that divorce is far more than the legal end of a marriage. I partner hard-won lessons from my own divorce and my doctoral training in family conflict to support our clients through their darkest moments.
I work with our firm’s Divorce Coaching clients using a forward-focused approach: what happened in your marriage— the conflicts, the acrimony, the heartbreak— is behind you. What happens next is what matters most! I I love walking alongside people navigating divorce, reminding them that the path forward is not easy, but it is worth it.
I know first hand how cripplingly scary divorce can be. It took me more than three years of contemplation, dialogue with my husband, therapy, spiritual guidance and, finally, legal advice to make the decision to leave a marriage I had invested my heart and dreams in for nearly 14 years. I was able to survive my divorce thanks in large part to Z Family Law founder Christy Zlatkus’ invaluable advice and level-headed emotional support. My work as our firm’s Divorce Coach and Client Relations Director is my way of paying forward the loving, no-nonsense guidance Z Family Law provided me as I navigated the many logistical, legal and emotional hurdles that lay between the end of my marriage and the start of my New Normal.
Before coming to Z Family Law, I spent three years in Baltimore researching family conflict and advocating for legislative reforms to support families with young children. Prior to this research and advocacy work, I spearheaded the creation of the George Mason University Center for the Study of Gender and Conflict, now an internationally renowned institution at an R1 University. I have conducted research on divorce, domestic violence and family law in the US, Indonesia and Russian Federation.
Over the course of my career, I have served in executive leadership of numerous non-profits and have been a consultant to organizations including the UNICEF, USAID, and U.S. government contractors on a range of issues related to domestic violence and women’s empowerment. Through my work and research, I have had the privilege of working with hundreds of families facing crises over the course of my career.
In addition to my work at Z Family Law, I am a faculty member at the George Washington University Elliot School of International Affairs, where I teach the Master’s Capstone on Gender and Conflict.
Although I am deeply proud of my professional work, the title I am most grateful to have is “Mom”. My five-year-old son is the brightest light in my life. When I am not supervising his dubiously designed science experiments, I am policing his attempts to give our Labrador retriever a haircut. I am lucky to have a strong co-parenting relationship with my son’s father, as well as the loving guidance of my boyfriend, who raised an incredible daughter as a single dad. My experiences as a parent inform my work with Z Family Law’s clients, and I am honored to walk alongside other families through challenging times.
Education & Certifications
- Certified Divorce Coach and Trauma Recovery Coach
- PhD, Conflict Analysis and Resolution - George Mason University (2019)
- MS, Conflict Analysis and Resolution - George Mason University
- MA, Sociology - George Mason University (2012)
- BA, American University - Print Journalism (2005)
- Dr. DuBois teaches gender-based violence conflict resolution at George Washington University Elliot School of International Affairs, where she leads the Master's Capstone on Gender and Conflict.
- Founder of Eos Coaching
- Fellow at the Faculty of Sociology at National Research University — Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia (2012)
- Dr. DuBois' work on intimate partner violence and family law has been published in numerous trade outlets and peer-reviewed publications including Advances in Gender Research, Empowerment in Practice: Strategies and Outcomes, and Women’s Political Leadership Monograph.
- Dr. DuBois is an internationally syndicated blogger for Worthy.com, where her writing focuses on divorce and domestic violence.
- Dr. DuBois spearheaded the creation of the George Mason University Center for the Study of Gender and Conflict, where she served as the founding Executive Director from 2013-2015.