Exclusive: US tech business bidding to re-engineer divorce process targets UK expansion

Crosby: standardising process where possible

A US company looking to re-engineer the divorce process through an innovative technology platform and process has laid out its plans to come to the UK, Legal Futures can reveal.

Wevorce – which describes itself as a mediation-enabling technology company – recently raised $1.7m (£1m) in new funding to help grow its business, and founder Michelle Crosby told this website that she intends to expand to the UK in 2015 having received strong interest.

Ms Crosby said Wevorce is “divorce for grown-ups”. It draws on mediation and collaborative law and eschews the traditional two-lawyer system to have both spouses instead guided by a single lawyer-mediator known as a “Wevorce architect”.

Co-parenting and financial experts are called in when needed in a bid to address the legal, emotional and financial aspects of divorce. It is only appropriate where the parties are committed to achieving an amicable parting.

The technology is used to standardise the process where appropriate and manage the case, but the spouses meet their architect in person at local offices. So far 99% of couples that have used Wevorce have been kept out of court.

Ms Crosby said she currently has 28 architects operating from 10 offices on the west coast of America, and the goal is to double in size every quarter and grow nationally before going international. A recent recruitment drive saw 500 applicants.

Wevorce was born out of Ms Crosby’s own traumatic experience as a child of divorce. At the age of nine, she was asked in court which parent she wanted to live with, and her parents’ court battles lasted 15 years. She became a family lawyer and this year launched Wevorce.

She said that by standardising the “predictable pieces” of the process through technology, “the mediators are saving 60% of the time they would otherwise spend on the file and client management – this gives them additional time to dedicate to the family”. It also counters the risk that, using the traditional divorce lawyer, “depending on which office you walk into, you experience a vastly different process”.

Wevorce charges flat fees and the average cost of a divorce is $7,500 (£4,600) but can range from $3,000 to $15,000; this is less than half of the cost of a traditional divorce in the US, the company says.


    Readers Comments

  • ‘Good’ family lawyers are already working hard to keep mum and dad out of the courts. I am not sure that this model will work either here, or across the pond.

    Dr Brett Davies, CTA, AIAMA, BJuris, LLB, Dip Ed, BArts(Hons), LLM, MBA, SJD
    Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of Australia

    Legal Consolidated
    22 Cornwall Gardens, London, SW7 4AW
    M: 07528 634 567 I O: 02079 372 555
    E: brettdavies@legalconsolidated.com I W: http://www.legalconsolidated.com

  • silklegal says:

    We are Specialist Legal Advisers and we do things in a way that suits the needs of modern businesses and individuals, not in a way that lawyers have been doing for a very long time. We constantly challenge our working practices to ensure that we strive to improve and develop the way we provide our advice and assistance to clients. Silk Legal has been created to help businesses and individuals by providing a high quality, on-demand legal advice service very efficiently and at reasonable rates.Our service standards are based upon what people expect. No unnecessary delays, excellent advice from experienced Specialist Legal Advisers that clients can understand and a commercial approach to charges not followed by traditional law firms. Divorce &amp

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