By Stacey Freeman, Next Avenue Contributor
Thanks to technology, we can buy groceries online. We can search online for a job, a pet, even a spouse. And if for whatever reason that spouse doesn’t work out, we can go through the divorce process online, too.
But when you’re divorcing, can a website, or a collection of them, be a substitute for face-to-face interaction? Based on the growing number of users who frequent sites specializing in divorce, the answer appears to be “Yes.”
For Divorce, It Takes a Digital Village
Divorce is disruptive — good and bad. And change, even the good kind, can send even the calmest, coolest and most collected individuals into a tailspin. Not to mention, divorce can also be expensive, stressful and isolating for those going through it.
Also on Forbes:
The good news is that today, separated and divorced people can find a community online with others in similar situations without so much as leaving their home.
Divorce is complicated and emotionally charged, even with the use of these unprecedented and innovative technological improvements.
If it is information you’re after, lawyer Erin Levine’s Hello Divorce site provides a wealth of it. Specializing in California divorce law, Levine’s goal is to make divorce more accessible to those who may not have the knowledge or experience yet, and show them they have options.
Even if you are not living in California, Hello Divorce’s blog is still worth reading for its concise, straightforward articles on topics ranging from what to do if your spouse announces he or she is gay to the unique issues facing boomers who divorce.
The Major Players in Divorce Sites
Divorceify, founded by two divorce attorneys and a lawyer-turned-programmer (all women), offers customized divorce recommendations and matches you with professional help from all over the United States. From mediators and financial advisers to divorce coaches and attorneys, Divorceify can save users time and money and alleviate stress. Having confidence in the people helping to complete the divorce will make the process a little less daunting.
PartUs, created by lawyer Krista Andrews, provides divorce management software to law practices looking to streamline the divorce process in one place. FamilyDocket and dtour.life offer divorce management systems for lawyers, with the added feature of allowing them to communicate with their clients on the site and share documents.
One-stop-shops Wevorce and it’s over easy, also created by attorneys, provide platforms for families going through the divorce process from start to finish, offering monthly plans based on the services you choose from their respective menus.
A Fresh Start After Divorce
Once the divorce itself is over, divorced life comes with its own set of rules and obstacles to navigate.
Apps such as OurFamilyWizard (created by a divorced dad) and Coparently (from a techie son of a divorced couple) are useful for family management when children and teens are involved. They help parents communicate by creating calendars, discussing expenses and sharing important information about their children. Apps like these make co-parenting easier because they offer technology that fosters cooperation and communication.
SupportPay, founded by a divorced marketing exec, is an app that lets divorced parents make automated support payments online, alleviating financial and emotional stress for both spouses because of its reliability and predictability — no more missed payments or confusion.
For divorcées not sure what to do with their diamond ring, Worthy offers a secure online auction platform to sell it to a pre-screened community of buyers. The diamonds are valued before every auction by Worthy’s in-house gemologist and the Gemological Institute of America. Sellers can have a check in their hands in as little as three days.
Has Technology Taken the Emotion Out of Divorce?
With so much knowledge at our fingertips, it is easy to forget that less than three decades ago it wasn’t possible to connect with people from around the world, access information and assemble the best team of people to help us, all within seconds.
Divorce is complicated and emotionally charged, even with the use of these unprecedented and innovative technological improvements. Although technology has automated the divorce process, and arguably removed some of the emotion from it for the better, there is still plenty of emotion to go around, which can be positive as well.