Not to sound like a grandma, but everything is going digital — and now even divorce is hopping on the bandwagon. Getting divorced sounds like a stressful mess. You're already in an emotionally vulnerable place, then suddenly there's all of this paperwork and admin that needs to be done. That's why celebrity divorce attorney, author, and family law expert Laura Wasser created an online divorce platform called it’s over easy, which provides everything you need to fill out divorce papers online. It's over easy helps you navigate divorce — which can be filled with overwhelming steps to be done and lots of legal jargon, especially at a time when you're already stressed. And she knows her stuff. In fact, she's represented Kim Kardashian, Angelina Jolie, Jimmy Iovine, Maria Shriver, and Stevie Wonder, just to name a few.
Though her clientele may be chock-full of celebrities, her site is all about low-cost DIY divorce. "During my 20+ years of Family Law practice it has become apparent that there is a need for a low-cost, do it yourself, online divorce option," Wasser tells Bustle. "In 2013, I wrote a book called It Doesn’t Have to be That Way — How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself. The overwhelming response was that people desired information and advice about more amicable and cost-effective ways to get through the divorce process. Taking it online was the logical next step."
Here's How It Works
It's now live in New York and California, but you can still use it for reference in other states before it goes nationwide. There are different pricing options that provide varying levels of support, some of which help with issues like co-parenting and the other life administration that comes with a divorce. All of the options provide you with the necessary forms and allow you to download them — and some will even file the paperwork to the court for you.
If you need some personalized attention, some of the pricier versions also include phone consultations with a Family Law consultant. So you can get as much or as little guidance as you need. Although the Pro package will serve the divorce petition to your spouse, realistically you'll need to be on somewhat good terms and on the same page if you want the divorce to go smoothly.
And if you're on really good terms, the Premium package covers all the work for both of you. Although it's always a little depressing to think about divorce, having affordable, accessible options like this is a great step.
Times Are Changing — For The Better
Firstly, we need solid divorce advice because it helps us be independent about huge life decisions. Divorce is daunting — but that's not a good enough reason to stay in a bad marriage. "Young women today are more self-sufficient than they have ever been," Wasser says. "They have better communication skills and know how to articulate what they want and need in relationships. The financial independence paired with a desire to be the master of one’s own destiny makes young women excellent candidates for our platform." Having an easy, internet-based tool removes some of the hassle that can keep women in bad relationships — and that's always a good thing.
The Key To A Smooth Divorce? The Same As A Smooth Relationship
Interestingly, Wasser has some advice on how you should run your relationship and your divorce — and it might sound a little familiar. "Communicate," she says. Yup, communication in your relationship makes everything better... even splitting up. "Have discussions with your partner about each of your expectations in the relationship," she says. "Whether those expectations have to do with finances, family planning, or future retirement. They may not be the sexiest or most romantic conversations but they will be one of the biggest factors in keeping the two of you on the same page in your relationship." And if it comes time to divorce, good communication skills will serve you well.
But Make Sure You Know The Law
And, as difficult as it may be, being on the same page about marriage and what it means may make a divorce easier. But part of understanding what it means goes beyond just talking about it with your spouse — it also involves knowing exactly what being married means. I know that it's not the most romantic thing in the world to think about divorce as soon as you get married, but marriage is a huge step — and it's important to understand what you're getting yourself into.
"Marriage is a contract," Wasser says. "Sometimes even living together may be construed as a contractual relationship. You may want to consider a cohabitation or pre-nuptial agreement. Even if this is not something necessary in your particular situation, it is essential to know the law surrounding cohabitation and marriage in the state where you live."
Divorce is probably never going to be fun, but you can try to make it as painless as possible. Know what marriage and divorce means legally where you live and make sure that you keep communicating with your partner to make sure you're on the same page. And if all else fails, options like it's over easy can help the divorce go smoothly. Well, as smoothly as it can.