Episode 77: Exploring Hello Divorce: A Simpler, Kinder & Less Stressful Divorce with Erin Levine

by | Last updated: Jun 3, 2024 | Podcast

The current legal process for divorce is complicated – not to mention expensive. That’s why I invited Erin Levine, Founder of Hello Divorce, to join me today on the podcast.

She’s here to demystify the legal details of separation and explain her 3-step alternative for a simpler, kinder, and less stressful divorce.

We talk about the problems with bringing your divorce to court, how to navigate divorce when you don’t trust your ex, and the “divorce math” you should consider (i.e. it’s not just financially draining). Erin also explains why she’s determined to NEVER again litigate a divorce, plus the most-used service within Hello Divorce – and how it can save you money (and tears!)

Listen to the Full Episode:

What You’ll Learn In This Episode:

2:09 – Top 3 problems Erin witnessed within the divorce courts… and what led her to create another option
7:47 – “Conscious Uncoupling” isn’t just hype from Gwenyth Paltrow
12:31 – Remember: the system is set up for lawyers… it’s not designed to support families
20:04 – When the spirit of “making things peaceful” mixes with DISTRUST
23:12 – Hello Divorce breaks down the divorce process into 3 parts
32:51 – Divorce Math: Consider the emotional toll this process takes
37:47 – Your lawyer is not your life coach… but you need additional support!
45:02 – Erin’s advice for keeping the divorce peaceful (even when your spouse isn’t focused on that)

Featured On Exploring Hello Divorce: A Simpler, Kinder & Less Stressful Divorce with Erin Levine

Learn more about Erin Levine and Hello Divorce at hellodivorce.com (also on Instagram)

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If you have a suggestion for a future episode or a question you’d like me to answer on the show, email us.

Struggling to decide whether to stay or go in your marriage and you’re serious about finding that answer?

Book a Truth & Clarity Session with a member of my team. We’ll discuss where you are in your marriage and explore if there’s a fit for you and I to work together so you can make - and execute - the RIGHT decision for YOU and your marriage.

Welcome to the Loving Truth Podcast, where it's all about finding clarity, confidence, and peace in the face of marriage challenges. And now your host relationship expert and certified master life coach, Sharon Pope. Hello, loves. This is Sharon Pope and this is The Loving Truth. I have such a special treat to share with you today. Her name is Erin Levine,

but she runs a business called Hello Divorce. And I, when I discovered this, I was thinking, how did I not know that this exists? Because it really is set up to help you navigate divorce in a much more peaceful and loving way. So for those of you that are leaning in that direction, I think this next call it 30 minutes,

is going to be incredibly helpful for you. So let me introduce, Erin Levine is not your typical attorney. With over a decade of experience in litigating complex family matters, she saw the need for a kinder, easier and more affordable pathway out of marriage and into the next chapter of life. To achieve this, Erin set out to revolutionize the broken divorce legal system and founded Hello Divorce,

a venture capital backed tech enabled platform that helps separating spouses reorganize their lives and finances with less stress and mess. Erin's innovative approach to the divorce process has earned her media mentions from the legal industry and beyond with features and Vice Forbes above the law fast company and TechCrunch. Ultimately, Erin is on a mission to help everyone empower a better life ahead and has helped thousands of Americans reorganize their lives and families through a framework that levels the playing field between spouses so they can sort things out fairly avoid missteps and reimagine their next and best chapter.

Welcome Erin. Thank you for being here. Thank you so much. I'm very excited to be here, Sharon. Yeah. Alright, so tell me where, how did you come up with this idea? How did you decide to create this amazing business? Tell me all the things. Sure. Well, I'm a lawyer by trade. I practiced law for,

let's say it was about 15 years. And I built a law firm that is small in the law firm world, but actually quite large for a family law firm. At one point we had about 13 lawyers. Wow. Yeah. So I, I found that I really enjoyed building a business and I liked practicing law. And just after I had my second daughter Mia,

I had a crisis of conscience, which it didn't just happen overnight, it was kind of leading up to this moment. Yes. One thing that happened just before I had Mia is I had a very, very intense trial. It was a child custody and child support trial that we won for our client. Yes. We got her child custody, we got her that extra $50 a month in child support that she really wanted.

And after the trial was over, she had come to me and she had said if I were to do it over again, I would not have gone to the court. Wow. That hit really, really hard here. It was, I had been trained as a lawyer that the way you prove your value is by winning. Right. And now I had at least one client who had said that really didn't do it for me.

That really isn't what I wanted or needed. So I took a step back and I started to look at just the landscape of divorce, kind of immerse myself in the transition. And at that point I found a few things that were really troubling me. One was that 80% of people, majority being women, were not represented by a lawyer at all in the divorce process.

Wow. 80%. So 80%. So they're going through this massive life transition with legal and financial and emotional implications and they're doing it largely on their own, which was really concerning to me. Well, does that mean, does that mean that like their husbands also didn't have a lawyer? In some cases, yes, but not always. Wow. Okay.

So that was one big issue that we noticed. The second issue, and this was after diving into a design sprint where we interviewed hundreds and hundreds of people who had gone through divorce recently. And what we found was even people who had been through divorce and had a lawyer, a well-intentioned and sometimes a great lawyer, weren't particularly pleased with the experience. Yes.

They found that it was opaque and adversarial. They never knew how much it was going to cost. Yep. It was focused on legal as opposed to the entire life transition. They didn't feel like they had any more financial literacy after the divorce than when they started and they certainly didn't feel like they had the tools that they needed to embark on that next chapter.

Right. And then the third issue that was really sort of eating at me was the fact that as lawyers, we really bully the divorce process. We really take over and make it all about the law. Yes. And there wasn't one place that people could go to to manage the entire transition to figure out when they might need a new health insurance policy and how to find it,

find to figure out if they could afford to keep their house and what might that mean. Yeah. To find the right person to help them with their new dating profile. Right. You know, all of these things come up in divorce and you're spending all this time on Google and there's so much noise and I really wanted to build one platform that could at least bring all of it together.

Yes. Even if we're not offering it all, have one place where it could all live and people could manage it from that space. And so that's kind of what got me thinking it's time to build something new and different. Yes. Yes. I've, I've often said like we've been able to evolve a lot of different things. We've evolved what family looks like,

we've evolved, you know, even what relationships look like and it's, it's overdue that we need to evolve what divorce looks like. And at least, you know, call it five to 10 years ago we started the conversations about you could unwind a marriage without hating one another and without making your kids then navigate you two not being able to communicate for the rest of their natural born lives.

Like we don't have to do it that way and we don't have to go for the jugular and create a lot of hurt and and be really hurtful in the process. So, and like you're saying, you have to be equipped to navigate this next chapter and and do it solo because divorce is not just the legal aspect. Right. It's, it's many aspects.

That's right. I think, I'm so sorry my dog, I don't know if you're seeing my dog. I do. All of a sudden I've got one right here and we might hear from him. So it's totally fine. He's just decided that this is his moment that he needs me. Okay. So all of a sudden if it becomes distracting or you see him at all,

let me know. No worries. So what we found about 10 years ago, I think this is what you're referring to as well, is, you know, Gwyneth Paltrow comes through and she says, conscious uncoupling, and half of us rolled our eyes 'cause we didn't really believe that it could actually happen. And the other half of us started to think,

hey, maybe this is true. Maybe this could actually be, not that we weren't thinking about it before, but now it became mainstream. Yeah. Maybe we could actually have a divorce that doesn't destroy everything that was positive about our life before, that focuses more on what we want the next stage of our life to look like. Yeah. But we still had a system,

a $50 billion a year divorce court industry that wasn't set up for that kind of divorce. Because you have to understand that the system was built at a time when divorce was at best morally reprehensible and at worst unlawful. Yes. And it hasn't changed much since then. So we now had people saying, you know, hey, I don't know that I necessarily wanna divorce that we're going to fight and battle it out.

But then as soon as they lawyered up, they were stuck in a system where the only way to resolve conflict was to fight. Right. Well, and then the people who are representing you, what they're really good at is that fight is that debate and the negotiation and that kind of bring in the heavy energy. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So it's so important.

So if divorce is, it's not just about law, it's also, let's see, finance, logistics, parenting, financial planning, you mentioned that like, can I afford to keep my house real estate? And then there's emotional support, mental health, like what am I missing? There's, there's so much that has to be involved, but we think,

oh, if I'm gonna divorce, I just need a lawyer. No one gets divorced because they want their life to be worse off. No. Like, right. No, we get divorced because we have hope for a better life ahead and we know that it generally gets a lot harder before it gets easier. Yeah. And better and more fulfilling. And in order to get us to that place where we can really embrace a better life ahead,

we need so much more support than the law. And I think most of us turn to the law because, and you've talked about this before as well, the big emotions that come up in divorce are fear, overwhelm, and shame. Yes. And when those emotions come up, we kind of many times go into crisis. We go into fight or light and we feel like we have to,

in many ways, like lawyer up, it's the only way to protect ourselves. And what I saw so often were many people, some of the most brilliant people on the planet that would literally hand us their life hand my lawyers that were sometimes only in their twenties or early thirties at the time and say, here, you fix it. You take my mess and handle this divorce.

And, and they might have gotten a, a decent legal outcome, but how does that set you up for your next chapter For what's ahead? Right. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Alright, so let's level set. What okay is the difference? So there's the traditional divorce where you lawyer up and you go that route. But we should talk about what that looks like in comparison to,

there's a DIY divorce and then there's an online divorce, like what you do with Hello Divorce. So can you just kind of compare and contrast like what are we talking about? What's the difference with hello divorce? Sure. So in the past there were namely two, sometimes three options for people depending on what jurisdiction they lived in. One was what you mentioned the lawyer,

traditional lawyer route. And that is still, you know, very, the the one that we think about, the one that we see on media and television, that's where you pay a lawyer a retainer sometimes between five, $10,000. Yep. The average cost is between 15 and $20,000. Per person. Per person And Yeah. Per person. And that lawyer will represent you through your divorce.

And so you will do the entire divorce with them. They may bring in other professionals or may not, you don't know how long your divorce will go or what it will cost. Right. The other option that sometimes was available is mediation, which is where a neutral third party, sometimes a lawyer, sometimes a therapist, sometimes a financial advisor comes in and works with you and your spouse to help you get to an agreement and then gets that agreement down on paper so that you can file it with the court and get divorced.

That can be a, a great option if you are generally transparent. The two of you are transparent and want to avoid going to, you know, court. Right. You're on the same page. And then the third option is, is DIY. And you could do that either by going to court or in some cases the court has online forms. Yeah.

Or by going to other online service providers where you could pull forms that are necessary for your divorce, complete them on your own and file them with the judge. Right. The real disadvantage with a DIY divorce is that there are two very big parts to a divorce legal action. There are, there is the procedure, there is all the forms you have to do.

And in every state there is at least 20, sometimes 30 forms. Yes. Most of them have a ton of legalese. They are, they need to be filed at the correct intervals, they need to be served correctly at the correct times and they need to be filled out properly. And the DIY programs don't necessarily help you with all of that aspect.

Right. And they don't necessarily help you with local forms. Many counties, many county courts, your local courts have additional forms that need, need to get done as well. And then the second part of divorce, the part that most of us think about, the part that's probably the most important is getting to an agreement. The substance of the divorce and the DIY divorce online platforms don't really help with that at all.

Yeah. Other than maybe having a few blogs that you can reference. Right. And so the DIY option could be a great option if you have a very simple short term marriage, no kids divorce, but for most people they fall somewhere in between. They are going to need some additional help. They probably want some additional help. They maybe aren't sure how much they'll need,

but they wanna know that that help is available somewhere along the way. Right. Like they might be able to get to agreement between the two of them on some percentage, call it 70%, but they disagree on 30% kind of thing. Correct. Yes. Right. Exactly. Right. So it, so the system is actually set up to make it more complicated.

It's sort of structured so that you do have a guide who understands the, the ins and outs and, and what is needed and when it's needed and all of that. Right. The, the system is set up to protect the golden goose of a revenue stream that lawyers have enjoyed for hundreds of years. Wow. This isn't to say it's not about whether lawyers are good or bad,

it is about a system that wasn't designed to be creative, it wasn't designed to allow people to navigate it according to their needs and goals and lifestyle. Yeah. It was designed to help facilitate a professional route for lawyers. And the longer a divorce goes, the more lawyers get paid. So you are, they have little incentive to help you resolve conflict.

Right. So it, the whole, so the whole, so if you look at how it's set up, you know, even if you have an agreement, even if you start the divorce, even if you're lucky enough to have a relationship with your spouse, where you can sit down and work out an agreement before you file the paperwork. The problem is the way the system is set up,

most of those agreements break down without the right type of support. Wow. And let me give you an example of how, Okay. So an example is, is that most of these forms start with finances. Whether you are keeping the finances or whether you're separating however you're dividing them, you still have to get all your financials on the table, which inc give people an incredible amount of anxiety.

Yes. Sometimes it's around fear, sometimes it's around a lot of time. What I see, it's around shame, especially when it comes to women. It's the shame of, hey, I should know more. Yes, I should understand this more. Our division of labor where I spent more time with the kids or I spent more time managing the household,

it should have been different and I feel terrible about that. And so already they're feeling this intense amount of anxiety, a lot of emotion around the breakdown of the marriage. And so they're starting with finances, they're starting with all these forms with legal terms that make absolutely no sense. And then, then the court sends you back all these other forms. Once you file.

Oftentimes it will set a court date even if you have an agreement. And so oftentimes what we'll say to people is they'll say, my spouse said we were going to work this out amicably, but I just got a notice from the court that I have to go in front of the court for a hearing. Yeah. And so automatically there's like this distrust and they assume that,

you know, because the system is so opaque and doesn't explain itself well it, and that relationship is so tenuous, like it quickly breaks down and then one or both consult with a lawyer and before you know it, you know, we're in full on litigation mode. Well, and you know, what I see a lot of times is where women will,

will feel like, well I need to, I should just, you know, in the, in the spirit of making this peaceful, I should, we should just be able to do this amicably. But when you really dig into it, they don't fully trust that they know where all the money is because maybe their husband's been handling all the money because they've been taking been the front row parent kind of thing.

And so they're like, I wanna trust, but should I trust, is it smart for me to trust? I mean, that could really hurt me long term. What if he doesn't be the upstanding man that I'm hoping that he'll be like all of that. Like even knowing where the money is and understanding what you're entitled to is a difficult process. I think you have to trust your spouse to have a relatively amicable out of court divorce.

Oh, That's good to know. Say more. I think that most people don't fully trust their spouse when they enter the divorce process. And that's okay. Okay. The vast majority of people who start with hello divorce for example, don't have an agreement and don't necessarily trust their spouse. And that's why we have built an experience that builds trust along the way that rebuilds it.

We believe that marriage can be a success even as it ends. Yeah. It taught us how to give and receive love. I think that most people don't want to leave their marriage hating their spouse. No. And I think that if we can take it a step at a time and have some wins that both spouses can celebrate on their own and together that trust is built along the way and that there are,

and to the extent that they that, well, let me back up a minute. So you don't have to know everything when you start. Yeah. Unless there's an emergency with, in your divorce, unless your spouse has cut you off completely from finances or has taken your children and has locked as access or there's something violent happening in the moment. Right.

Nothing is gonna happen overnight. So you'll have time to evaluate the information that you have. You will have time to make considered decisions, you'll have time to determine whether or not you think that your spouse is being transparent enough with the information that you need to come to a divorce agreement. Okay. And so what we do at Hello Divorce is we break the divorce down into three distinct steps.

Our feeling is, is that if you can get through a hundred percent of your divorce with us, which 97% of our customers do, hooray. Amazing. That's amazing. Yourself, thousands of dollars. 97% of people make it all the way through their divorce just on your platform. Correct. That's amazing. Yes. Wow. If both spouses joined, that's if both spouses joined.

Okay. If you don't, if, if you don't end up getting to an agreement on everything, at the minimum you will have completed your paperwork. You will have clarity on what you have and what you don't have, and you'll be able to take that one issue that still remains one or two issues and take that to a lawyer. Right. And you'll have done the risk benefit analysis to know if it's worth litigating.

Is it worth pushing? Right. Yes. So I think that's what's really important. So we break the process down into three steps. The first step is non-controversial. It's literally using the software to automate the basic legal logistics where one spouse says, I wanna divorce and I wanna reserve all of my rights. That's it. Okay. I reserve all of my rights.

And we can do that in virtually every state. We get that done. And the only thing we require from the other spouse is that they sign a document to say that they have received these documents that they are opting out of being served by a random stranger at work or at home when the kids are present. Right. Beautiful. So that's step one.

And everybody feels a little bit better, right? Yeah. 'cause nine times outta 10 it's wife filing. Yeah. Because 80% of divorces are filed by wife. Wife feels better knowing that if she needs a lawyer at any point in time, there's one available to her on our platform. And at this point, about 6% of them consult the lawyer at that point just to make sure t's are crossed and i's are dotted.

Yeah. And husband feels a lot better. That wife didn't lawyer up with the most aggressive attorney in town. Right. Right. Or surprise her. Right. Or surprise him. Him, yeah. Yeah. With this divorce. Right. Yeah. Okay. So that's number step number one. Step number two is the financials. Both are required. They could,

you could use the soft, the platform on your own, but if they're both using it, they work asynchronously to use our software to get as much of the finances as they know on the table. Okay. As much as they know And they work independently of each other. So They do Okay. No One wants to work with their spouse on this.

Like you can, there are some people that do. Yeah. But for the most part, it's our customers after they, you know, talk to their daughter who's at college or their put their little one to sleep, they're getting a glass of wine. Yeah. They're sitting on their couch, they're pulling up their tablet and they're starting to like work through the questionnaires.

Yes. At this point, the goal is to populate the second set of forms that are going to have to be filed at the court, but they're also to get as much on the table as you possibly can. So for example, you might know that your spouse has or had a 401k but have no idea what's in it, what's in it. Yeah.

Whether it's been liquidated, but you remember seeing a piece of mail from Fidelity 10 years ago, put that in the questionnaire. Okay. We can deal with it later. The goal at this point, it's just to get everything on the table. Okay. All right. That's step two. So then that's when we look at each other's step two documents and we see,

all right, does something look wrong? Does something look, are we missing something? And is that the couple doing that or is that the couple doing that with your team? Like who, who's looking at these independently created documents and saying, huh, they're vastly different. So our team, our team looks at it simply to ensure that everything has been answered.

That all the t's have been crossed and i's have been dotted and that they are ready to be filed with the court. Hmm. If, if you have a question about, hey, this, I don't really understand what this stock is or if it's been vested or this doesn't seem to add up, we had 50,000 in a 401k two years ago, but now he or she says there's zero,

then at that point, our customers generally, and this happens about 19 to 20% of the time, will schedule through the platform a half hour or an hour with one of our financial advisors. Beautiful. Okay. Cool. And they'll say to them, they can, they can do it with their spouse or on their own at this point, if you don't trust your spouse,

I would say do it on your own and say, help me go through this, this step, these documents and figure out what's happening here. Does anything look fishy to you? Is there something that we need to dive deeper into? Am I, is my gut right here? Yeah, I mean, we're not going to be able to count for everything.

If you think that your husband or wife hid a bunch of accounts offshore and there's nothing that you have to prove it and there is no big transfers from an account and you know, you don't have a report from a private investigator, something that's that significant is likely going to need you to sort of step outside the Hello divorce program and hire a lawyer. But nine and a half times out of 10,

it's not that serious. Yeah. It's generally speaking a spouse who says either, oops, I forgot to disclose that, or Oh, it's not worth anything in the moment, so I didn't think it needed to come out. Right. Right, Right. Or I, or or they spent money on let's say a, a new girlfriend or a new boyfriend and maybe we need to recapture some of those funds Yes.

Through either legal help through our platform or a mediator that can broker a deal. Cool. And then step three is using the platform either with one of our lawyers or together to build the final agreement before we submit it to court. And your, your divorce is completed. Wow. That's amazing. The thing that I like about it is that it, it guides you through the process because I think sometimes it's like you don't know where to start.

It seems too big. And so a lot of people just get stuck right there. Like they know that they, they want to end the marriage or not that anyone wants to, but they know that that's the right answer for them. But then they just get stuck because they're, it's overwhelming. They, and they don't even know where the on-ramp is and then what's gonna come next and what's gonna come next.

And it's like, you know, I tell my clients where, look, you can get anywhere you wanna go only being able to see 10 feet in front of you at a time. I can get from Florida all the way to California and some of that's gonna be driven at night, but I can see 10 feet in front of me with my headlights so I can get to where I wanna go and I only need to see 10 feet at a time.

I don't have to see all the way to California before I leave Florida. Otherwise I'll, I won't leave the end of my block. And so I'd Love that. Yeah. So I like the the, and then knowing that like at the, at the end of that 10 feet, there's gonna be another like, oh, and now here's what's next.

Here's your next 10 feet and there's your next 10 feet. So you can navigate it. The the point is, is that you point know, you have to know and trust that there's always going to be someone there to help that we might not have all your answers in the moment. And quite frankly, legal regulations are tough. So a lot of times our software or our guides can't give you the answer in the moment,

but they can tell you how to find it. Find it might be through a resource that we have. It might be through a chat bot. It might be be that you have to schedule 30 minutes with one of our awesome lawyers. But what I can promise is that that 30 minutes that you schedule with a lawyer will be legal advice. You won't be paying them to fax your documents or to collect paperwork or to tell you that you're going to be okay.

You'll be paying them for what lawyers do best strategy, problem solving, advocacy, negotiating, that kind of stuff. See, that's amazing. That alone is amazing. Okay. So I will often tell people, I'm like, look, when it comes to divorce, there's, there's math and there's drama and there's laws in your state and or county. I guess I didn't even realize that.

And then there's all your emotion about it and that's the drama piece. But you have something called divorce math that I would love for you to share with, with my community. So d divorce math is taking into account the emotional and financial toll of litigating an issue. So of faling it out in court, what will it cost you? Is it worth it?

So an example is spending $10,000, which is not unusual to fight over an extra $15,000 in let's say equity relating to your home. Maybe you win. Maybe I will say that generally speaking, if the courts have discretion, unless there's a really, really, really clear evidence that there is no way to dispute that the house is worth X dollars, that generally the court will split the baby because they are not in the business of punishing anyone or giving anyone a windfall.

But let's just say for the moment, maybe you win. Okay. But we have to take into account what about the stress of not knowing whether you would win of the months, if not years of waiting for the day. You could battle it out in court about not knowing how much in legal fees it would cost you to ultimately win that additional 15,000 of the fear and uncertainty and stress that it put on your co-parenting relationship.

Yeah, I was gonna say that's not even accounting for like, I, I think about like you are gonna bring some of that to your next relationship. Right. Whether it's a, a lack of trust or, and then if you start, if you start getting into what's the cost to your kids, because now mom and dad hate each other and so you're coming up on high school graduation or you,

they're going off to college who's gonna take 'em to college and drop 'em off and they're anxious about their first day of college and mom and dad are like, I'll get this box and I'll get this box. And then you have weddings and then you have the first grand baby and now kids have gotta have two different birthday parties for their grand babies first birthday party.

Like all because you two hate each other. So there's a cost, it's Yeah. There's such an immense cost. It is. It goes so it goes so much farther beyond the financial costs. It is. That is probably the financial cost we can all get over. It's that emotional cost lingers on and on and on. And when I ask people one of the reasons why they get a divorce,

oftentimes it's because they wanna want to model healthy relationships with themselves and with others in front of their children. Yeah. And yet those relationships include their relationship with their ex spouse. Yeah. And when you show such such contempt and resentment and hatred towards your ex, you have to remember that your children are one half your ex. Right. Right. Right.

So when you're hating them to your ex, to a certain extent, you're hating a piece of your children. Yes. They internalize that to think that they don't is is not fair or reasonable. So I'm not in any way saying this is easy. I mean there are people who spend their entire lives dedicated as, you know, to helping people co-parent functionally,

especially in high conflict situations. This is not easy, but, but I certainly would say that I would never, you will never, ever, ever see me litigate another divorce again. And believe me, I made a lot of money doing it. I bet you did. It was a very lucrative way to raise my children, but I would never,

I would never do it again. It caused way too much pain in the end and it's just not healthy for a family. Right, right. In the organizing family. Right. So I wrote a blog post, I don't, it was years ago and I remember I had the guy from Suits, the image of the guy from Suits on the, on the blog post.

Yes. But it was like, why your lawyer is not your life coach. Like it was like, you're going like, because we think we need to hire a lawyer. Like, and that's the path. But then he or she is the point person for all the things. Right. All the financial planning and all the how are my kids gonna navigate this?

And then like I'm crying in their office because I'm realizing all the emotion that's coming up. Like lawyers are, if, if, if you need a lawyer, like you said, what they're great at, it's the strategic part. You don't need to be paying 'em $300 an hour to fill out a form, but you certainly shouldn't be looking to them to,

to be your emotional support system because that's not what they're skilled at necessarily. But I mean hearing you talk about this, like you're probably not the, the the average divorce lawyer, at least not now after having the experiences that you've had. Yeah. I mean, but still I'm not trained for it. I think that emotional lawyering is a really positive thing.

I wish that we had been taught more in law school to empathize with our clients and to be able to help direct them to outside resources. I dunno sort Of like doctors right? Is About our doc. Like doctors have to have like they have to, the good ones have bedside manner. It's sort of like you wish that they had more of that,

but many of them don't. Right. I lawyers are so afraid of other, for the most part of other specialists and other types of experts, it, one of the things that I was really proud of with the low divorce is that we made sorted divorce financial analysts available directly to consumers before Hello divorce. You almost always hired one through your attorney. Most people didn't know that it was something that you could do on your own.

Yeah. And lawyers speaking were the gatekeepers. It's like always like the gatekeepers. Yeah. But I think, you know, so lawyers aren't trained for it to provide this sort of emotional support. They, your incentives aren't aligned. Remember like they're the, there's ego involved for sure and not just, and sometimes again, it's well intentioned. They might want to protect you,

they might want to get you the best result possible. But there's al they're also human beings. Yes. And they have a vendetta against your spouse's attorney or a problem with the judge they're appearing in front of. Yep. Or their own interpersonal issue or trigger that they're acting out when it comes to you. Lawyers also have one of the highest substance abuse,

you know, IT issues. Yeah. Like Numbers of any industry and the lowest NPS scores. So the lowest scores for customer satisfaction, but most importantly honestly is just about costs. Still over 90% of divorce li lawyers charge on the billable hour. So every six minutes you are being charged and like, can we really afford that? Can we really afford Yeah.

To talk to our lawyer about what is going on with us emotionally, is that really the best place for our money to go? Right, right. I love that. Yeah. Alright, so you started to, you've talked a little bit throughout this conversation about some of the additional services that people can get through. Hello Divorce. Like you've hinted to some of them.

What is probably the most used additional service beyond like having a conversation with a lawyer? I, our most popular service is the certified Divorce Financial analyst. That is going to be somebody who can help you with everything from look, you know, discovering new settlement options, financial literacy, understanding what your finances look like, talking through spousal support, child support,

valuing retirement accounts, that kind of thing. So financial advisors are, are really popular aspect of our platform. But we have a new product slash service that we introduced just a few months ago and have already had 7,200 people take advantage of it. So I think it is really, really resonating. And that's called Home Split. So if anybody wants to check it out,

it's hello divorce.com/home. And this is a three-step solution designed to help you and or your spouse determine what your options are related to the family home. So how much equity is in the home, how much, whether or not you can keep the house. If so, how will you pay for it in the short term? Whether it will work for you and your state in the long term.

How will you pay your spouse their share of the equity and how will we write it up in a way that the judge will sign off on the agreement? Yeah. It's, it's really awesome. We have partnered with some of the, the biggest players and most creative players in the industry and then of course vetted the predatory ones. But we're seeing some really interesting,

exciting trends. Everything from home equity investments to sale leasebacks and just like different new ways to keep the home in the family or at least for a period of time. Yeah. I love that. It doesn't have to look one way and also sometimes like we are limited by only what we've seen before and if we've never seen it, we don't know that that's a possibility for us.

And so at least that provides you certainly more options than you'd probably be able to come up with yourself in terms of what to do with that. Yeah. Yeah. At the, at the very least, even if you have a lawyer, even if you, you think you know exactly what you're going to do, either sell or refi, at the very least there's a free download where we talk through all of the issues that come up with your home in a divorce and I highly recommend it 'cause it's got a great worksheet and checklist and that's awesome.

Yeah, it's super helpful. That's great. All right, one more question. I'm just genuinely curious what your advice would be, how to keep a divorce peaceful when you suspect that your spouse may not be as peacefully focused as you. Yeah. So number one is if your spouse tells you that they are going to talk to a lawyer or get legal advice or threatens that they're going to meet with a lawyer,

let them let them. So yeah. Right. So you're not doing anything that is outside of your rights. You're not, you are not, you have nothing to fear. They, if they have a really unrealistic or unreasonable outlook on how the divorce should go, then maybe a lawyer will help them get a little bit more clarity on what's expected of each spouse during a divorce.

Okay. I would say there's a few things that you absolutely need to do. So easier said than done, but don't act out of fear or revenge every time you make a decision. You need to ask yourself, am I making this decision from a place of fear or am I making it from a place of what I truly think is best for me and my future?

Don't rush, your spouse is going to rush you. They're going to try to push you into an agreement. 'cause they just want to get this behind them. You don't need to rush. I love you're Allowed to say, I don't know, I sometimes my clients will say to their spouse, I love this because it's hard. They have to swallow their ego a little bit.

It's okay. It's a means to an end. Yeah. They'll say to their spouse, look at, I know all these financials are so clear to you, but I'm still learning. This will be my first time on my own. And so I really need to get clear about them before I sign off on it. So just gimme a little bit more time.

You know, just whatever it takes. Yep. It doesn't need to, you don't need to respond with, I think you're lying, so I wanna go over this with my financial advisor before I sign off. Right. You know, take care of yourself. Always get the help you need. Start with what is troubling you most. Yeah. If there is something that is keeping you up at night,

then you don't need to wait to address it. Yeah. If it's a legal issue, schedule with a lawyer through our platform or a local attorney. If it's a financial issue, let's get you with a certified divorce financial analyst. If it is scheduling, figuring out an exit plan, a divorce coach or specialist, if it's finding a community, then let's get you in a support group.

But like, start with what is troubling you most so that you can start to feel a little bit more supported and like clearheaded as you walk through. And then in terms of what you can do with the divorce itself, I always, you know, assuming that there is no domestic violence, I always try to encourage customers to set ground rules with their spouse if possible.

Ground rules like when, where, and how will we talk about divorce related issues? Yep. Do we agree that our goal will be to try to resolve this outside of court that we will hire if we do hire lawyers, that they will be mediation friendly, that we will have a united front when we talk to our kids. Here's the thing, usually you can come to an agreement on at least a few of these things and always come back to the,

to it and remind each other and it gives each of you some peace of mind because no matter how mean your spouse is being, it's usually because they're angry or they're scared, they're hurt and so they're hurt and hurt. Yes. Yeah. If you can't come to any ground rules, if none at all, then you also, that's a huge indication to you,

Hey, I probably should talk to a lawyer because I'm likely going to need some help along the way. Yes. And that's okay too. Right. Because it's Not about whether lawyers are, are good or bad anymore. It's about choosing your path, not being forced to go down a road just because the legal system or the industry says you have To,

right. Or that there's only this one option, now there's more options and now you know That's right. Which is the best option. Yeah. For you and your scenario. I love that. Exactly. Don't, don't rush. Start with what's troubling you most and set ground rules. I love that. All right, so where can they find out more,

I assume? Hello divorce.com? Yes. So hello divorce.com. You can schedule a free 15 minute call with someone on our team. We have a great info call team to learn more and we also have a chat, a web chat. It's with real humans I promise. It's our team. So feel free to chat if you have any questions there. We're also on social,

particularly Instagram is where we're most active and that's at hello divorce. Beautiful. Thank you Erin for being here. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Thank you for starting this company. I think that, thanks so much For having me. I'm thrilled to know that this is available for people so that they, it's not just this one really scary option that's available.

Right. So thank you so much. Absolutely. Thank you. If you're listening to this podcast because you're struggling to decide whether to stay or go in your marriage and you're serious about finding that answer, it's time to book a Truth and Clarity session with a member of my team. On the call, we'll discuss where you are in your marriage and explore if there's a fit for you and I to work together so you can make and execute the right decision for you and your marriage.

Go to Clarity for my marriage.com to fill out an application now that's clarity for my marriage.com.

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