Last month, I was invited to join a panel discussion about the complexity of divorces. After this discussion I was once again shocked about how complex the ideas of some professionals are on this topic. On the day in question, I met some lawyers of whom I am certain that they are capable of turning every single divorce case into a lifelong horrible experience.
We can certainly conclude that the world of divorces is not the most revolutionary industry. For many years, things have been going on in the same way and unfortunately, no new solutions appear to be forthcoming. It means that the majority of the industry continues to work against hourly fees. Complex situations and hourly fees are like oil and fire in cases of couples divorcing. In the eyes of divorce professionals we are talking about a completely different angle.
I definitely do not generalize the whole industry with all its professionals, because yes, certainly there are a lot of great lawyers and divorce professionals and yes, there are couples who are not able to compromise and thus opt for the longer road towards divorce (no professional can change this), but I get really upset about the many dozens of stories that I hear, of lawyers who are spending more time billing their hourly rates than promoting a solution to settle the divorce case.
So if you ask me, it's about time divorce professionals started simplifying their cases and please, speed things up for the clients. Of course, this does not apply to the really complex divorces, but let me remind you that in our DivorceHotels we are able to successfully and responsibly settle divorces over a weekend. So in most of these cases, a lawyer or mediator really does not require two months to untie the knot.
Now what about the hourly fee, the system that worked for more than a century? Time for a change, if you ask me! We should try to work on a fixed fee basis. In that case everybody knows in advance what the financial costs will be. Besides this, a fixed fee (based on a maximum number of hours) is a good motivation for couples to think in solutions. The fixed fee basis will make couples realize that sticking to principles is expensive, while comprising will make their lives a lot easier. This system works for both sides, because for divorcing couples a divorce will be much cheaper and the professionals will not lose money, since they are able to help much more couples to split up in a positive way.
It is my firm belief that times are changing in the world of divorces and I do hope the changes will go faster than they have over the past 25 years, because trust me, in most cases it is no longer necessary for people to live under unnecessary and uncertain circumstances against expensive costs during their divorce procedures. It is important to really help people who have decided to untie the knot. If you ask me, helping is solving problems and not creating them. Helping is being affordable for clients rather than creating a personal bankruptcy. This may be an entirely new way of thinking for some divorce professionals and new things can be off-putting, but why not give it a shot?
Let's try it out and let's continuously focus on improvement of our divorce procedures.