We live much of our lives online, so it should be no surprise that the innovators at Wevorce have come up with a way to encourage an amicable approach to divorce with the assistance of technology.
Michelle Crosby is the founder and CEO of Wevorce. She understands the trauma that divorce can cause to a family. It is her empathy and the human connection that drives the technology.
Like most brilliant ideas, Wevorce was birthed from Michelle’s personal experience. As a nine year old, Michelle went through the harrowing experience of being asked the question, “Which parent do you want to live with?”
Her parent’s acrimonious divorce took fifteen years to resolve, but it had a positive side effect — Michelle became a family attorney and she has realized her goal to make divorce less stressful. It can be a new beginning instead of a bitter ending.
Michelle went through her own divorce after a thirteen-year marriage. She avoided the mistakes of her parents by being less adversarial and making the unavoidable legalities more efficient and easier to deal with.
Wevorce uses a state of the art software platform that is available to attorneys across the United States to help clients with the emotional, financial and legal aspects of this life altering experience.
The Wevorce process starts by assigning each family a team of experts: a legal architect (attorney/mediator), co-parenting architect (family counselor) and fiscal architect (typically a CPA).
It’s easier to go through any transition if there is a guide and a pathway to follow. Wevorce provides a six-step process that starts with a co-parenting plan and ends with a settlement that is acceptable by both former partners.
Many people are intimidated by lawyers. Going to a law office is the last thing they feel like doing when they are going through emotional upheaval. The legal system isn’t set up for the most part to deal with the intricacies of a life that is built on human emotion. When love becomes malignant, there is more involved than who gets the antique dining room set. Children often bear witness and become the victims of their parents’ discord.
Wevorce allows couples who may not have been able to afford such a comprehensive and nurturing solution to get the help they need when they need it.
Michelle is doing groundbreaking work through Wevorce. Her company is the first to use this method to automate much of the divorce process, make legal services more affordable and encourage couples to interact in an amicable way so that when they emerge from the other side, their dignity and their family bond through their children is still intact.
Image Courtesy of Wevorce
First Wives World had the opportunity to interview Michelle about the positive impact Wevorce is having on individuals who are struggling to remain whole while becoming one.
Many of us feel comfortable living much of our lives online and sharing personal details on social media. It isn’t a stretch to imagine going through a separation and getting a divorce through an online service such as Wevorce. Technology and the Internet have a way of allowing us to maintain some autonomy, keep some distance and still communicate our needs. Do you feel that this is a contributing factor in the success of Wevorce and how did you determine that this method would be accepted
Michelle: Wevorce is high tech so that we can be high touch. We use technology and our online format to streamline the process, but every family does meet with a mediator. Our technology reduces the time the mediators spend with paper and case management by 60%. The technology is built on predictable emotional, financial and legal patterns that are inherent in every divorce. Since the predictable pieces are placed in the software, there is more time for the professionals to spend with the families supporting their unique needs.
The adversarial process of divorce can cause friction even in those couples who are parting on somewhat amicable terms. Can you explain your six step process and how someone who needs the reassurance and support of an advocate can benefit from your program?
Michelle: We have built neuroscience and behavioral sciences into our model to help support the families through their conflicts. There are three components in every divorce: emotional, financial and legal. It is important to get the legal and financial elements right, but it is also important to help the family navigate the sea of emotions. Meeting one is amicable divorce planning. The family creates strategies and agreements on how to go through the process, how to address emotional outbursts and resolve conflicts. Divorce doesn't make these conflicts and emotions go away, so we work with the family to develop strategies they can practice over a lifetime of co-parenting.
Each family works with an attorney mediator throughout the six steps to make sure the agreements address the legal implications of divorce. The families also work with a co-parenting mediator that helps them put together a sustainable co-parenting plan in meetings two and three. The legal mediator will be joined by the financial mediator in meetings four and five to navigate the division of marital assets and come up with a financial road map for living in two households.
Is it possible for one person to participate in your program? For example, a woman splits from her husband who is a drug addict. He is apathetic and isn’t going to contest a divorce but he doesn’t want to participate in any mediation or legal matters, other than signing papers. What should she do?
Michelle: Wevorce is not for everyone. We have a unique screening process, that helps families align with the right choice. Wevorce requires both husband and wife to come to the table together. If that is not possible, then they are better suited for another process. This woman could meet with a lawyer or file pro se for an uncontested divorce. She will likely find useful content on our blog for emotional support, how to talk to her children about divorce, communication tools, and recovery tools as she begins again.
How long should a couple wait before they take these steps? Should people have a cooling off period before filing for divorce?
Michelle: We recommend that every couple try marriage counseling before they decide to get divorced. The emotions that come with divorce track a grieving process and counselors can help navigate through the sea of emotions. Wevorce has even had reconciliations, because the tools we teach families work at any stage of a relationship to resolve conflict, and occasionally the families decide to hold off on the divorce.
Probably the most difficult part of divorce is helping children to cope with the breakup of a family. Do you recommend that the entire family, including children receive counseling during a divorce? How does your process ease the transition?
Michelle: This depends on the family. Our philosophy is that the parents can do a great job helping the children through the transition if they have the tools to do so. Sometimes children need additional help and we also encourage counseling for those families.
After a divorce there can be issues such as a change in a custody agreement if one parent’s situation changes. Do you assist people with these transitions?
Michelle: We do offer remodels to help with post divorce conflicts and transitions.
Thank you, Michelle, for contributing such an innovative and compassionate method to help couples transition through this difficult process.
What do you think about this solution? Contact Wevorce if you have any questions and share your feelings in the comment box below.