Can’t Afford a Divorce? Use Hello Divorce's Payment Options

Society often paints divorce as the “easy way out,” as if we choose to end our marriages the moment something goes wrong in the relationship. The truth is, divorce is never an easy decision. Most people agonize over whether to divorce their spouse for months or years before filing.

Why do people hold off on divorce when it feels right? Dividing income, assets, and debts between two households is not something we generally plan for, and the financial consequences are significant. This is particularly true for women who, in divorce, often end up with more child-rearing responsibilities, lower earning power and a massive reduction in household income. 

Divorce inequality is a real problem

In nearly 70% of heterosexual marriages, husbands earn more than their wives do, according to data from the Pew Research Center.  In this majority population, the divorced woman’s income will drop more than the man’s – even if their marital settlement agreement provides her financial support.

A study from the United States Government Equality Office found that a woman’s household income is apt to fall 41% after a divorce – more than twice the decline of a man’s income after divorce. 

And then there’s the biggest expense you never thought you’d need:  legal fees. The average “traditional” divorce costs $15,000  to  $20,000 in lawyer fees. Net effect: Only one out of every four Americans can afford one. And lots of people don’t want to ask for help from friends or family because there’s  still so much shame attached to divorce. (“I’m doing something bad, so why would they help me?”) 

That’s one reason we launched Hello Divorce. We wanted to lower costs for divorcing couples, and we knew that by automating most of the complicated legal logistics, we could.

But that wasn’t enough. Divorcing people still need help along the way. They need legal advice, financial support, and help with conflict resolution, all of which cost money. We understood implicitly that today’s legal system wouldn’t help much in these arenas. On the contrary, it would ramp up conflict.

Hello Divorce’s mission: Take the drama out of divorce

To further our mission, we rebuilt the divorce experience from the ground up. Our platform offers affordable flat-rate divorce assistance tailored to each person’s specific needs. Our clients can choose the plan that best suits them from our plans page, and they can upgrade to get more support from us as needed. In so doing, they don’t pay exorbitant fees for services they don’t need.

End result : With Hello Divorce, the divorce process costs one-tenth of the price of a traditional divorce and takes one-third of the time.

Even so, coming up with the money for divorce at our reduced price can cost $1,000 plus court filing fees. When your life is in upheaval and you’re pocketbook is stretched thin, divorce is daunting. In fact, we realized that for 40% of our customers, divorce was challenging if not impossible.

The best payment platform for online divorce services

To help make divorce accessible to all, we launched in-house payment plans early on. And they worked. Forty percent of our customers used them with almost no drop-off. With the launch of this payment platform, we converted to a buy now/pay later (BNPL) option. We thought this would appeal to customers because they wouldn’t have to pay upfront, they could choose to pay over 6, 12, or 24 months, and the option was easy to access through PayPal.

We were wrong. 

Why? Lots of issues came up with our BNPL model, and they disproportionately affected women:

  • A BNPL payment is still a loan, and some struggle to qualify.
  • The buyer doesn’t know exactly what they need at the point of sale.
  • This impersonal payment plan offers little in the way of friendly customer service.
  • The only way some qualify for a BNPL loan is through their spouse’s credit – not the ideal way to finance a divorce.
  • Applying for a loan dings the borrower’s credit score, which hurts – especially if they anticipate needing to buy a new car or move to a new home.
  • Paying back the loan saddles the borrower with interest payments they don’t want or need. Late payments equal penalties and fees.

Benefits of in-house payment plans

For all of these reasons, we’re bringing back our in-house payment options. There’s no qualification necessary, and clients can pay as they go (or someone can foot the bill on their behalf). 

Our new payment plans give clients more flexibility than ever before. They can make payments without overstressing about money, and they can downgrade or upgrade their plan (and its cost) depending on the ebb and flow of their divorce process. In short, our clients will feel more in control of their finances and their future.

Why are we financing payment plans for our customers in-house?

We’re financing payment plans for our customers in-house because we know divorce is hard on both spouses. People need help.  Money is tight right now, and folks watch where every penny is going. Don't let financial worry cause you to delay moving forward. Take our short quiz to determine your best options and see just how affordable your divorce can be.

Senior Editor
Communication, Relationships, Divorce Insights
Melissa Schmitz is Senior Editor at Hello Divorce, and her greatest delight is to help make others’ lives easier – especially when they’re in the middle of a stressful life transition like divorce. After 15 years as a full-time school music teacher, she traded in her piano for a laptop and has been happily writing and editing content for the last decade. She earned her Bachelor of Psychology degree from Alma College and her teaching certificate from Michigan State University. She still plays and sings for fun at farmer’s markets, retirement homes, and the occasional bar with her local Michigan band.