I have a secret: The divorce industry is not fit for the current era. I am sharing this as the CEO of DivorceHotel, who has worked with so many couples and is passionate about making the entire divorce process more innovative and efficient- better suited to the needs of people in our current era. It's not an easy job, but someone has to do it, especially when it is clear that other industries have caught up twenty-first century, ditching outdated models: UBER challenges the taxi industry, Netflix the TV industry, etc. I find it unbelievable in a time where couples are increasingly focused on finding faster solutions, with less drama, the current divorce process still ends up being slow, confronting people with additional, expensive problems.
It is a widely held belief among divorce professionals that a divorce has to be very complicated and not easy to solve. From my experience, this is not because of the couples wishing to divorce, but more because of an industry that thrives on making divorces unnecessarily complicated. The industry is really stuck in the past and needs to adapt to the times. Here are five things that demonstrate how that the industry is really stuck in the past and needs to adapt to the current times.
Innovations would reduce hourly fees
The divorce industry is a great example of: ‘if you do what you always did you get what you always got’. Most divorce professionals are happy with how their businesses have run in past years and see no reason to change it. Why? Because with innovation comes increased efficiency, which may reduce or eliminate hourly fees. Making divorces more complicated then necessary translates to billable hours at antiquated law firms. Simplifying the process of divorce could save couples money, by reducing the amount they pay to their lawyers. As you can imagine, divorce professionals are not too excited about implementing innovative methods that potentially reduce their lucrative income.
Divorce professionals are not educated to be innovative
The majority of the divorce professionals are legally educated like lawyers. Law is built on old practices, resistance to change, which when it happens, often takes years. Concepts like market innovation, efficiency or customer satisfaction, are not exactly part of the legal education-, which is strange for a service driven industry, if you ask me.
Not enough focus on mediation
Mediation still is one of the few positive options when settling a divorce. It is so effective that I believe that it should always be a starting point for every divorce. However the norm in the divorce industry is that each person should hire his or her own lawyer, specifically one with a ‘street-fighter’ mentality. But remember, street fighters come with an ego, which can be very expensive and lead to new problems and conflicts. Mediation is a more sensible and ‘hands-on’ approach that enables couples to control and expedite the process. Because only one mediator is involved it not only goes faster but is much cheaper too.
Lifestyles and landscapes are changing
Nowadays lifelong careers where employees work their whole life for one company are more of the exception and not the rule. Like it or not, this trend apparent in relationships where lifelong marriages, like most of our parents had, are more rare and people who marry multiple time, is becoming more common. I think that in the future people will have at least 2 or 3 marriages, which indicates that the rates of divorce will also increase. That is another reason to find better and more innovative solutions to help couples end their marriages.
As society is changing so is the market. This may not be music to more conservative ears, but it is a fact. I think that divorce will become so common in the future that the process will have to go much faster. Couples will no longer stand for a long and drawn-out process, especially if it is unnecessary. As alternatives to traditional divorce continue to emerge, those in the industry with adapt or they will fail. I predict that in the future a major part of the divorce procedure will be processed online, making it faster, more efficient and affordable.
It is my personal mission to make divorce a less painful process that is marked by efficiency, affordability and less dragging, so that everyone involved can succeed. I welcome the innovative solutions that are desperately needed in this industry. If you are a divorce professional who cannot imagine a future free of long divorces and billable hours, I hope that what you just read serves as a wake-up call. Because the future is now and like everything else, the divorce industry is going to change fast!