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Do-It-Yourself Divorce

Mauricio Duarte
June 24, 2020

At the 77th Golden Globe Awards, the Netflix film “Marriage Story” received a leading six nominations, including Best Motion Picture.

The movie depicts Nicole's story (Scarlett Johansson) and Charlie (Adam Driver), a married couple going through their divorce. Throughout the film, Charlie and Nicole are pushed into confusion, hurt, anger, resentment, and fear by lawyers they hired to defend them. It's less a film about one particular divorce and more a commentary on divorce itself.

During the film, we are introduced to Nora (Laura Dern), a ruthless lawyer who will run over anything to get what she wants for Nicole. It was the perfect role for Laura Dern, who did collect the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. At the same time, the film introduces Jay (Ray Liotta), a $950-an-hour attorney with a scorched-earth reputation.

"Marriage Story" reminded me of "Kramer vs. Kramer." In this movie, Ted (Dustin Hoffman) and Joanna (Meryl Streep) went from estranged exes to sworn enemies. I must recognize I feared divorce after watching "Kramer v. Kramer" as a 13-year old boy.

After watching “Marriage Story", I came to a painful realization as an attorney: Nora and Jay highlighted everything that is wrong with divorces. Divorces can be characterized by expensive legal fees and lawyers focusing on their clients' needs over what's best for the family. But divorce doesn't have to be this way. Technology can provide you with the necessary tools to fill out the paperwork and submit documents for a non-adversarial (uncontested) divorce.

Future of Divorce

Divorces have been put on hold during the coronavirus pandemic. However, many divorce attorneys predict that there will be a surge in divorce filings. For example, China has seen a spike in their divorce rates due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, divorce rates in Saudi Arabia have increased by 30% during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Divorces can drag on for months if not years and the attorney fees rack up quickly. If uncontested divorces are expected to rise, platforms such as Hello Divorce are vital to make legal services more accessible and affordable to a broader swath of the population.

Hello Divorce is a simple-to-use divorce application that allows individuals to complete the forms required to file for divorce in California. The platform guides the users through all the necessary steps while simplifying the process with document automation and branch logic.

Individuals can work at their own pace and, should they need help at any point, they can access legal advice from experienced lawyers and legal document assistants.

Hello Divorce could be summarized in five easy steps:

  1. Sign Up to Hello Divorce
  2. Get a free 15-minute strategy session to draft a non-adversarial divorce plan.
  3. Select the pricing model that fits your needs. Hello Divorce offers four different pricing plans depending on your needs. You can select a subscription plan or a fixed fee model.
  4. Fill out the forms and file for divorce. You can access the forms you will need through the Divorce Navigator form-generating software.
  5. Complete your divorce with the terms of the divorce judgment.

A recent survey found that the average cost of a divorce in the United States can differ by state, but a reasonable number is $12,900. The average cost included $11,300 in attorneys' fees and about $1,600 in expenses such as court costs and fees. Furthermore, the survey found that users paid their attorneys an average of $270 per hour. However, Hello Divorce has flat fee prices as low as $500 per month to provide you with the infrastructure to prepare and file forms. On average, you could have a successful divorce for less than $1,500.

If you are a movie fan, imagine the outcome of "Kramer v. Kramer" and "Marriage Story" if they had used Hello Divorce.

Hello Divorce is making justice accessible by allowing people to avoid adversarial divorces with the click of a button. That’s why we have decided to partner and collaborate with Hello Divorce. At A2J Tech, we will be working together with Hello Divorce to improve their existing platform and enhance their document automation features. Additionally, we will be partnering with Hello Divorce and A2J Forms to provide simple solutions for uncontested divorces in other states, starting with Colorado.

Final Thoughts

The World Justice Project has advocated for divorce as a necessary component for the rule of law to prevail and a clear example of an exercise in access to justice. Access to justice is about action across the justice system. Hello Divorce is a transformative idea in the mainstream justice system that will bring new solutions to a recurrent problem. Ending a marriage is hard, but Hello Divorce provides legal help and wellness support to get through a complicated process.

Collaboration and innovation are essential to modernize the justice system. That's why we are excited about the upcoming projects with Hello Divorce. You can receive more news about our collaboration by subscribing to our newsletter.

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