How many times have you heard someone say, “the only people who win in a divorce are the lawyers”? In many ways, that’s true. The average cost of a divorce in the United States is $15,500, according to a study released by Nolo, a self-help legal publisher. The cost can be many times that depending on where you live, your household income, and how acrimonious your relationship is.
Then there is the emotional cost. Psychologists rank divorce as life’s second-most stressful event, right after the death of a spouse or a child.
One reason divorce takes such a toll is that the family law system is broken, says Laura Wasser, a high-profile attorney in Los Angeles with 25 years of experience in family law and a New York Times bestselling author. “The courts are clogged, and it’s difficult to work your way through different rules for different jurisdictions,” she tells Woman’s Day. “It’s confusing, even for attorneys.”
That’s why she and other entrepreneurs are giving divorce a modern makeover by creating divorce apps to streamline the process. Here are five divorce apps and sites that can help you get through a difficult experience with less pain and a lower cost.
1. It’s Over Easy
Wasser created It's Over Easy, a website that allows people to file their uncontested divorce online, without lawyers or court visits. “We provide tools you can apply to your own situation, from asset organizers to child and spousal support calculators to co-parenting calendars,” she says. “Our main goal is to change the way we as a culture approach divorce.”
There are three tiers of pricing, depending on which services you choose: $750 (recommended for simple divorces without kids; you file with the court yourself), $1,500 (also for couples without kids, but filing is included), and $2,500 (for couples with kids and includes child support calculators).
Casey Shevin is a divorce attorney in New York City and the founder of Divorceify, which she calls “a roadmap to your divorce.” The site provides free connections to vetted financial advisors, therapists, mediators, and support groups in your area that can help you through your process and decrease the amount of money spent on attorneys. “It’s like a divorce GPS,” she says. “We look at your circumstances and point you in the right direction.”
Attorneys don’t make good use of technology, so gathering even the most basic financial documents is painstaking, slow, and expensive for clients. Enter Dtour.Life, a tool that allows everyone involved in a divorce (spouses, attorneys, and financial advisors) to access the same case data, reports, and documents and collaborate online. It even synchs to bank and credit-card accounts to generate asset and expense reports, says Lynch, an advisor to the site. The cost is $19 per month.
After a divorce, people may find themselves with jewelry given to them by their partner — and no idea what to do with it. Many times, the jewelry sits in a drawer for years when it could be providing a needed infusion of cash. Worthy, an online marketplace, aims to change that by giving people a fast, easy, secure option for selling their jewelry to more than 750 buyers during a two-day auction. Worthy, which works with the Gemological Institute of America and the International Gemology Institute to grade the quality of the jewelry in order to estimate a price, charges a commission between 5% and 20%, depending on the value of the transaction.
5. Our Family Wizard
Joint custody is usually in the best interest of the children after a divorce, but it can also be a source of stress for both parents and kids. The Our Family Wizard app simplifies the logistics by allowing shared access to the parenting schedule as well as expenses and payments. Communication, including requests for schedule changes, can be sent directly through the app. The ToneMeter function even lets you identify and flag emotionally charged messages to help keep the discourse civil. Courts in every state recommend the app as a co-parenting tool. Subscriptions start at $99 per year.