As the CEO of DivorceHotel I am often asked to give presentations about divorce, usually in the broadest sense of the word. One topic that always comes up is the future of divorce- a topic that I happen to know a lot about. It's true that the divorce industry is changing very fast, but the good news is that change creates major opportunities.
In fact, I have a very positive outlook especially for the divorce professionals who are flexible and can anticipate what's to come. Let me give you a couple of examples of the kind of changes you can expect to see:
Divorce numbers are not going down
In fact, they will likely go up. While the overall number of marriages is declining in some countries, current projections indicate a sharp increase in the number of divorces in the future. This is partially because divorce is no longer taboo, but also because the first generation who witnessed widespread divorce in the 1980s are getting older and many will follow in the footsteps of their parents. I wrote and article explaining why I anticipate that today's teens will have 2-3 marriages and 2-3 divorces in their lifetimes without having any major personal issues with it. Communities are changing, including the influence of religion, which points to an overall acceptance of divorce.
Technology and Innovation are changing the way we do things
Legal-technology is having a positive impact on the divorce. New players in the market such as RocketLawyer simplify what has traditionally been a burdensome administrative process, by atomizing common documents. There is more than enough room and certainly a significant demand for innovation within the divorce industry. Legal professionals who refuse to accept that clients will no longer pay huge amounts for work that can be done by software will fall behind very quickly…
Divorce will become less expensive
As society continues to become more accepting of divorce and technology streamlines our daily lives, divorce itself will become much cheaper and less complicated. Innovation will make the process more transparent, allowing clients to easily learn the reputation of divorce professionals before they hire them, even defining specific criteria specific to their needs. This means that it will be easier to identify professional who is best suited to help with your particular situation. Technology is also opening access to previously difficult-to-find legal content, which means that couples can do much of their preparation and legal work themselves. The outcome is a faster, more affordable and less complicated divorce.
Mediation will become the most chosen way to divorce
Everybody who reads my articles knows that I am a huge fan of mediation, but that is not the only reason that I predict that mediation will be come the most popular divorce solution. In the interest of saving time and money, many clients will choose to avoid litigation and lawyers with less than stellar reputations. The simplification of the divorce process means that in the future couples will be able to split in less stressful and more amicable way, such as through a mediation process. I personally think that it's only a matter of time before mediation becomes the top method of divorce.
As the market continues to move and evolve there are a few steps divorce professionals can take to ensure they are not left behind:
- Embrace technology and create time to discover new opportunities
- Match the opportunities with your company's activities and create new solutions that fit in the landscape of today
- Start atomizing your most common legal processes
- Be sure to offer mediation solutions
- Make sure your company is prepared to process faster but cheaper divorces
- Build an accessible, honest and transparent online reputation and engage with your audience and potential clients
This article is only a first step in this exciting conversation about the future of divorce. In fact, I have scheduled an innovation meeting for next week. You can start preparing your company for the future by registering for an online feedback tool, improving your LinkedIn profile or also scheduling a meeting with colleagues to discuss the coming changes…. or you can choose to do nothing- In which case I will leave you with a final piece of advice: If you do what you have always done, you will continue to get what you have always got...except you may find that it no longer exists!