Is adding a peaceful divorce services option appropriate for your legal practice?
For law and mediation firms, the realities of a down economy coupled with a shrinking middle class may be felt by fewer numbers of potential clients for divorce litigation or mediation. When people have less money to spend, they often turn to less expensive ways of getting a divorce, such as those cheap do-it-yourself divorce forms services that now proliferate on the Internet.
As an attorney with a general or family law practice, you may be interested in a proven business model that allows you to add an affordable “peaceful divorce” component to your existing legal practice without increasing overhead. Divorce With Dignity is a lower-cost value-added peaceful divorce services option, that enables law firms to reach a market with a growing base of potential clients.
More than just a forms service, Divorce With Dignity offers personalized divorce planning and facilitation to those seeking a peaceful divorce. It provides a holistic approach to divorce by assisting clients with referral services for them and their families through making it easier to navigate the difficulties of divorce. These referrals include counselors, financial advisors, support groups, real estate professionals, and more.
We recently talked with two Divorce With Dignity Providers who have successfully integrated a peaceful divorce service expansion into their law practices and asked them for their perspectives on that decision. Lori Black Ogene Esq. is a seasoned attorney with over 15 years of litigation experience who added Divorce With Dignity to her Miami/Dade County, Florida law practice almost three years ago. Zaïda Z. Bridgford Esq., recently launched her own Sacramento, California law practice and her Divorce With Dignity business, previously she spent five years in the family law division of the Superior Court of Sacramento and has 16 years of legal experience.
What prompted you to complement your law practice with Divorce With Dignity?
Zaïda: I knew that I wanted to have my own law practice, but it was intimidating to do it all by myself. I came across Divorce With Dignity, did a lot of research on it, and found it to be a solid and respected network that has been in existence for over 17 years. With the established and well-known name, I felt it was the perfect way for me to get exposure and take advantage of the benefits the Divorce With Network would offer from the standpoint of helping me build my client base.
Lori: I wanted to practice law differently and smarter. I had a general practice that was heavy on family law, but I wanted to focus more on amicable divorce. Since joining the DWD Network, I focus on peaceful divorce cases; but when for some reason that approach doesn’t work for a particular client, I can still offer them litigation as an option.
What are the advantages to integrating a peaceful divorce option to your business?
Lori: The main advantage is that it tends to attract clients who are open to the idea of not making the process a battle. Contested cases can take a very long time to resolve and can be very expensive. I’ve sometimes had to wait until the clients could get the money together for each phase of the process. With peaceful divorce, I can take on more cases and get through them faster, and get paid faster.
What specific training from Divorce With Dignity Network helped in setting up or integrating your peaceful divorce services?
Zaïda: The initial training was two full days, and before I attended I remember thinking, “how much is there to cover?” But over seventeen years, they have really put together a good service and a good business plan. Everything was covered, including the type of licensing needed, whether I needed a bond, how I should set up my business contracts, how to get started, how to market myself, and more.
Do you have any advice for attorneys who are considering adding peaceful divorce services?
Lori: Yes. Peaceful dissolution of marriage is the wave of the future. As attorneys, it can be hard to change your practice from adversarial, but if you can focus on amicable solutions to divorce and help your clients understand that they are more empowered when they divorce peacefully, everyone is better served.
Zaïda: Definitely! We have to realize that change is happening. People have other options now, like Legal Zoom and preprinted forms they can download from the Internet. One way to distinguish your practice is to be part of a network of legal professionals who have a particular mission. Divorce With Dignity’s mission is peaceful divorce at an affordable cost, something that I find many people are seeking today.
If you are an attorney who would like to offer your clients additional divorce service options, while increasing your revenue potential, check out Law and Mediation Practice Expansion at our website or contact us now!