Digital Divorce Platforms
Over the past few years, we’ve noted some flashy digital divorce platforms transitioning from beta to the marketplace. These platforms digitize the administrative aspects of divorce and reduce -sometimes even eliminate- the lawyers’ role.
In January, California celebrity divorce lawyer Laura Wasser rolled-out her latest product: an on-line divorce site. It’s Over Easy claims to simplify the divorce process and touts cost containment for California divorcees.
This divorce platform contains useful information, directories for related services and helpful videos for unfortunate couples embarking on the painful process. The price point varies, depending on the product level.
Ms. Wasser is not the first family law professional to this digital party. Five years ago, Wevorce, a self-guided divorce platform now owned by Legal Zoom, launched from the Y-Combinator; a start-up accelerator in the Silicon Valley.
While Wasser’s It’s Over Easy is available in New York and California, Wevorce claims to be available in all 50 states. We here at Clarkston Legal wonder: do these digital divorce platforms really work?
Putting Digital Divorce Platforms to the Test
The simple idea behind the “divorce-by-algorithm” concept is to scale and manage basic family data. These digital divorce platforms embed standardized forms for users; parties enter their personalized data and work through a series of cells on the site.
Even the proprietors of the digital divorce sites admit that “divorce-by-algorithm” is not for every couple. The process takes agreement and cooperation on the basics.
Couples that cannot agree on income benchmarks, the value of major assets and the apportionment of marital debt are not well-suited to this process. Those couples are better served in the family court. Family courts accommodate spouses as adversaries.
Such a process calls to mind the adage: “junk goes in, junk comes out.” For the “divorce-by-algorithm” to work, the parties must work together; they must reach a meeting of the minds on the basic family financial data.
The digital divorce platforms adopt a professional-team approach featured in the collaborative divorce process. When the algorithm identifies a problem, the participants -for a fee- utilize the input of various professionals.
We Can Help
Our conclusion is that these digital divorce platforms can work with the right couples. When a husband and wife agree on a parenting schedule, income benchmarks for support and the value of assets, these websites help ease the divorce process. However, when a divorce couple disagrees about the basic data, they need a family law professional.
If you or a loved one are in need of divorce advice, contact our law office. We offer a free consultation to discuss your personal circumstances and identify options.