Modern Divorce - The Do-Over For A Better You

Trends in Divorce: Getting a better divorce agreement

November 30, 2023 Attorney Billie Tarascio
Trends in Divorce: Getting a better divorce agreement
Modern Divorce - The Do-Over For A Better You
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Modern Divorce - The Do-Over For A Better You
Trends in Divorce: Getting a better divorce agreement
Nov 30, 2023
Attorney Billie Tarascio

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As many as 75% of divorces are filed by women: are they getting what they need and want? In this episode of the Modern Divorce Podcast, Host Billie Tarascio joins Erin Levine, founder of Hello Divorce, to talk about the latest trends in divorce including elements that can turn a bad divorce agreement into something that works for both sides now and in the future.   

For instance, this episode covers new methods to get highly functional parenting plans, including pets in the agreement, avoiding traditional divorce destruction, and creative ways to deal with the family home in today's high interest, high-cost real estate market.

Erin and Billie have similar goals in working to make divorce easier, cheaper, and more effective. In Erin's case, as a family law attorney with Levine Family Law in San Francisco, her Hello Divorce platform includes automating legal and financial logistics, offering on-demand access to experts, and providing support in resolving conflicts and reaching agreements. Billie, meanwhile, offers low cost services through Modern Law and IDoOver.life with affordable help from a legal paraprofessional, in addition to do-it-yourself attorney guidance on WinWithoutLawSchool.com

Erin and Billie also discussed how their platforms are different from traditional legal services, with Hello Divorce offering a collaborative approach that opts out of the adversarial system. Erin mentioned that over 125,000 people actively use the platform each month, with many using it to prepare for or navigate the divorce process. They also discussed data they've collected showing that 70-75% of divorces are filed by women and that people are spending more time thinking creatively about their agreements.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

As many as 75% of divorces are filed by women: are they getting what they need and want? In this episode of the Modern Divorce Podcast, Host Billie Tarascio joins Erin Levine, founder of Hello Divorce, to talk about the latest trends in divorce including elements that can turn a bad divorce agreement into something that works for both sides now and in the future.   

For instance, this episode covers new methods to get highly functional parenting plans, including pets in the agreement, avoiding traditional divorce destruction, and creative ways to deal with the family home in today's high interest, high-cost real estate market.

Erin and Billie have similar goals in working to make divorce easier, cheaper, and more effective. In Erin's case, as a family law attorney with Levine Family Law in San Francisco, her Hello Divorce platform includes automating legal and financial logistics, offering on-demand access to experts, and providing support in resolving conflicts and reaching agreements. Billie, meanwhile, offers low cost services through Modern Law and IDoOver.life with affordable help from a legal paraprofessional, in addition to do-it-yourself attorney guidance on WinWithoutLawSchool.com

Erin and Billie also discussed how their platforms are different from traditional legal services, with Hello Divorce offering a collaborative approach that opts out of the adversarial system. Erin mentioned that over 125,000 people actively use the platform each month, with many using it to prepare for or navigate the divorce process. They also discussed data they've collected showing that 70-75% of divorces are filed by women and that people are spending more time thinking creatively about their agreements.

Billie Tarascio: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to another episode of the Modern Divorce podcast. I am very excited today to be joined by a good friend of mine, Erin Levine. Erin is the founder of Hello Divorce. She's a family law attorney. She owns a law firm, Levine Family Law in San Francisco, and we have a stellar podcast packed for you today.

We're going to be talking about... Trends in divorce. Who's filing? What are they doing afterwards? New emerging trends in what's going into their decrees. Erin, welcome to the show. 

Erin Levine: Thank you so much. I feel like this is So long and coming. We have been talking about doing a podcast for years. Has it been years?

Billie Tarascio: I just can't believe this is the first time you've come on. Um, but you're busy. You're doing a lot of [00:01:00] amazing things and you may not have time to be on the podcast circle.

Erin Levine: Well, as are you, and I think knowing the two of us, we don't like to do anything half, can I say half ass? I don't know if I can say that.

Um, and I think we really wanted it to feel relevant, feel juicy, feel like your audience and mine, for that matter, would really have something, some key takeaways that they could apply to their own experience. And I think we're ready now. So I'm, I'm excited to be here. Thanks for having me. Absolutely. 

Billie Tarascio: So before we get into the meat and potatoes, let's talk about Hello Divorce.

Can you explain to our audience what it is, what it does, and what you do? Sure, 

Erin Levine: so Hello Divorce aims to make the divorce experience a lot more simple, kind, affordable, and accessible. So, in the states that we're in, we automate the vast majority [00:02:00] of the legal and the financial logistics, and we offer on demand access to expert help for when you need a little extra help along the way.

So as an example, when it comes to divorce, as many of you know, there's forms and filing. So the forms and filing we take care of in that you can use our software to prepare all of your forms and have an expert review them for you and file them with the court. But there's also getting to an agreement and that is a very, very tricky part.

And for that, we have financial advisors, lawyers. Mediators, we even have real estate experts and life coaches to help you or you and your spouse understand what you're signing, resolve conflict, and help you ultimately get to an agreement that you feel confident about so that you can [00:03:00] sign on the dotted line, submit to the court, and move on with your, um, divorce and into that next chapter.

Billie Tarascio: So, to me, Hello Divorce is really opting out of an adversarial system. And in that respect, I think it is different from anything else, including Win Without Law School. And Win Without Law School is a platform that I own with another lawyer, and it is teaching people how to represent themselves. And most of the time, they're in litigation, and we are teaching people how to litigate.

And what your platform is, is so different, because it's almost like Um, opting out of the adversarial system and going collaborative, but not traditional collaborative, which has all sorts of hoops and bells and whistles and it's expensive. It's a completely different system, which I think is [00:04:00] so great.

Erin Levine: Yes. Thank you. It is a system. It is a different system. So, um, I think both of our platforms are absolutely necessary because what we do know is that 80%... of people, um, can't afford to hire a lawyer on full retainer and that a vast majority of people who do are not necessarily happy with that experience.

And so certain things need to change. We've innovated within our law firms and there are a ton of amazing lawyers out there who do a really great job. Um, But within Hello Divorce, our goal is to help you long before you even start the divorce process. Because how you approach your divorce determines in many ways how that experience will go.[00:05:00] 

So if you lawyer up, oh, go ahead. Well, and 

Billie Tarascio: not just how the divorce process will go, the future of your family. So I'm sorry to interrupt you, but it's just so 

Erin Levine: critical. Yeah. So our goal is to make sure that every single person who comes to the divorce HelloDivorce platform has access to resources and worksheets and tools, um, and experts that will help them with at least whatever is the most stressful thing on their minds.

So maybe you do have to go to court. Maybe there is something that is a majorly stressful issue that your spouse will not compromise on and you do need to litigate in court, like that happens, but there are other things that you can do to prepare yourself for or to think through different, um, You know, to get your finances [00:06:00] prepared, to, um, you know, create all the forms that are required.

There are plenty of things that you can do to help minimize the expense, to manage your stress, and those are the things that we also want to be able to help with. Absolutely. 

Billie Tarascio: I just, I love HelloDivorce. I'm a huge, huge fan of the platform. I think everyone should go check it out. And I'm also just a huge fan of Erin.

Erin is a mom, she's a lawyer, she's been working on this company for years, and it's pretty incredible what you've built. And the other thing that you, so how many active users do you have currently? 

Erin Levine: Oh gosh, um, well we have over 125, 000 people that actively come to the site and consume our content every month.

And we have several thousand people that are working through the divorce process right now. Um, and then we have many more people that just access our services. We have a home equity calculator [00:07:00] that's free, for example, and free real estate strategy sessions. So if you're trying to figure out what to do with your home, um.

And especially with today's rising interest. And you're like, I don't know if I can buy out. I don't know what my options are. Then we have like many more people who come to the site just to access that service. So lots happening on the platform. And I really encourage everyone to check it out. 

Billie Tarascio: Absolutely.

And over the years, as people have been going through divorce, you have been able to collect a lot of data and really get some insight into What are people going through? Why are they filing? What does their life look like before and after? Can you share some of that with our audience? 

Erin Levine: Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, it's interesting as, as a lawyer, a law firm owner, you know, um, all, many of our cases were, were very complex, and we wanted to give our clients, um, very, very, very personalized attention, and [00:08:00] so, at most, we might have seen, you know, 100, maybe 200 divorces a year.

But at HelloDivorce, we're seeing thousands and thousands of people come through our platform. So we've been able to collect a lot of really interesting data through polls, through testimonials, and use cases. And I thought it might be really interesting to share some of that with your audience today. Um, so one thing that you've mentioned in previous, um, Videos is that I think the the last time we checked the What was it something like 67 percent of divorces are filed by women, right?

Billie Tarascio: Overwhelmingly initiating divorce 

Erin Levine: Yes, and we that mirrors the results that we see on our platform. I think it's closer to 70 or 75 percent We're finding that the vast majority of people who do file on our platform, um, [00:09:00] have been considering divorce or trying to save their marriage or maybe even stay in their marriage after the decision has been made because they are afraid of what life might look like, um, if they do file for divorce for two to five years after the decision has been made.

Um, Some other interesting, you know, data points are that we are seeing that as people are slowing, not slowing down the process, but spending more time, uh, thinking creatively about what their agreements might look like. Not necessarily relying on the law to tell them, you know, exactly how things will be divided and what life will look like post divorce, we're seeing some really interesting new terms emerge in divorce agreements.

I don't know if that's something you think might be interesting, but [00:10:00] I'd be happy to kind of dive into that too. Absolutely. Okay. So, there's three terms in particular that have been really interesting for us towards the, as we like, enter the end of, of 2023. One is what we call Paw Renting Agreements, P A W.

Pedimony, um, Castity. Right? Um, so, terms regarding pets, and actually, we first started to think and talk about this with our customers after an article that I read of yours, Billie, years ago, when you suggested that, um, family pets, do you remember, like, transfer, like, with the kids? Yeah. Like, yeah. And we had suggested that some of our customers, we haven't yet, um, added that to our software as an option, but we noticed that customers have started to write it in and include terms like what [00:11:00] happens if the pet needs medical care, who will pay for it.

Um, You know, where the pet, will the pet spend time with the kids on the holidays? Um, all sorts of terms around pets. So that's been really interesting. Another has been around what we call privacy packs. So, um, if the couple did a lot of like sexting or racy videos. or had like mental health issues that they talked a lot about.

They've included terms around keeping that like non disclosures, not sharing with anyone else. Um, maybe you can speak to whether or not that's ordinarily, um, enforceable. I'm, I'm actually not entirely sure, but I think the intention is great. Um, and then another term that I've seen a lot lately that really surprised me was, um, post divorce family [00:12:00] vacations.

What? Yes! Annual vacations where, um, children and Ex spouses, and maybe even new partners if they haven't, all go on a trip somewhere. Wow! 

Billie Tarascio: Okay, so much to talk about here. I think, I think we should take them one at a time. So, the first, um, issue, or the first trend that you're seeing is custody agreements for pets and support.

or expense sharing for pets. And, um, doesn't surprise me at all. I did write about this because when I separated from my spouse in 2017, we, um, our dog Delilah, who's laying right here, traveled with the kids and we did that for a while. Um, And we had agreed to do that. [00:13:00] Now, eventually it became clear that that really wasn't ideal and wasn't working.

And she seemed very, very stressed out, which I don't, I don't know if that was the pet, Delilah, Delilah was very stressed out. She had like, she was licking her paws and it's hard to know if she was stressed out because we were going through a divorce and that's stressful. Um, and she's like. She's a golden doodle.

She's an emotional support. Like, was she just sucking it all up and manifesting? You know, in that way, but when she, eventually we decided that she would just stay with me, and that's been fine, but she hears you, she's right, she came over, she's like, oh, you're talking about me, um, but it's very frequent that, um, if I'm out of town, you know, my ex will take the dog, and so we still sort of share the dog, um, but it's interesting, you know, I've read it People have opinions on this.

Some people think it's a terrible idea, that it's very, it's [00:14:00] really bad for pets, they need stability, and it's crazy to think that, like, we really think that our pets deserve more stability than our kids. Like, it's just, it's a tough concept. What do you think? 

Erin Levine: Yeah, well, first of all, I want, I don't want you to think that it's just, like, you know, perfection over here and that we're just sitting with a bunch of, like, amicable, like, conscious uncouplers over at Hello Divorce.

Um, you know, they're Every divorce has conflict. We, most of the people who start at Hello Divorce actually do come in with a certain level of conflict. However, um, a lot of them, I mean, you have to expect that at some point, with the help of experts, you will be able to come to an agreement. Otherwise, they probably wouldn't be using our platform to begin with.

Um, so there's a certain level of, of, of trust, which, um, makes these type of agreements more conducive. Um. So, I mean, it used to [00:15:00] be that we didn't have an option like this in most states, because pets were always considered to be property. Um, maybe not by us, as pet owners, but by the courts. And so, in many states, if there were an order like this, it couldn't be enforced.

So it's kind of like, why even have it? Because if you brought it to a court, Um, they would just say, no, sorry, we can't help you. And we all know that in really contentious divorces, if you can't enforce an order, like, it's probably not worth having. Um, at least that's my opinion. Um, So, these are, in many cases, like, fairly new, um, and I, I really like the idea of getting expectations on the table.

I like the idea of having flexible orders, of revisiting, of coming back every year or every couple years, um, and Revisiting your orders [00:16:00] regarding your kids and your pets. And I know those conversations are really hard, but circumstances change. Um, but I do like having pretty structured orders to begin with.

And the reason is, is because even if you're getting along fairly well now, life changes, new partners come in, life gets more complicated. And I like having a default. I like knowing that no matter what's happening out here. If conflict does arise, you have this order that you can sort of always fall back on, like this is what we're going to use.

Yeah, 

Billie Tarascio: absolutely. If you're so right, and that kind of takes me to the, the, you know, committing to doing vacations together. Um, that would, my initial instinct is like, that is such a commitment to make. I would, I would probably maybe caution that we only make that commitment for a short period of time.

Yeah. And then revisit it because things change [00:17:00] so often, or have it out. Like, because Um, you know, when you're going through the process of restructuring your family, um, there are times when everybody might be okay to hang out and be at the same place, and then there are times when that isn't possible.

And you don't want to, you don't want to try to force that because the consequences can be pretty big. 

Erin Levine: Well, yeah, and I've seen it used as a by, like, an abusive partner to keep control. And, um, to keep that, you know, manipulation. And we don't want to see that. I think that, um, what we know is that divorce in and of itself does not destroy children.

Like, in fact, divorce itself can really, um, Teach children and help children in so many ways. Develop empathy and resilience and, um, model positive and healthy and [00:18:00] amazing relationships. But what really does damage children is this prolonged long term conflict and tension and all of those kind of things.

So anything we can do to make... life a little bit easier and healthier and less compartmentalized is great. And so if we can agree to, um, you know, do graduation dinners and maybe one holiday dinner or something like that together, um, and be on our best behavior, I don't know that you can put that in the agreement, but like do it in a way that doesn't feel I don't know that necessarily has to be in the agreement, but that's great.

But a vacation is, um, is really pushing it. Um, keep in mind, most of those, I have to say, I'm gonna, I'm going to say it. Most of those vacay, post divorce vacay orders, um, are coming out of, uh, the Bay Area in California. I'm not seeing a lot of them coming from, like, Texas and New York. [00:19:00] Um, so I don't know if it, what's happening, but I, I will say that the privacy packs, on the other hand, are coming from the, all over the country.

So that, that's interesting to me. That is not geographically centered. I think 

Billie Tarascio: that that is brilliant. And I, I wish that, I wish that, More people would maybe do pre dubs. and decide certain things like that in advance. So commit to privacy in the event of a divorce. And I do want to talk about enforceability too.

Um, maybe even commit to things like collaborative law or, um, counseling or to opt out of the adver adversarial system in the event of a divorce. Kind of like an arbitration clause in an employment agreement. Like, do you ever see that in your prenups? 

Erin Levine: [00:20:00] Um, an arbitration clause. 

Billie Tarascio: No, no, um, the akin of opting into a system that isn't litigation for a divorce in a pre nup.

Erin Levine: Oh, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. In fact, what I'd love to see more of is the use of hello divorce. Right, right. If, if, um, you know, if you were to, uh, Um, separate, you know, um, you know, if you were, if you enter in a prenup, you were to separate because like you said earlier, hello divorce is very similar to collaborative law.

Mm-Hmm. . Except you don't have to coordinate all these schedules. You only bring in experts as and if you need them. Mm-Hmm. , um, it's automated and efficient and, um, you always know where you are in the process, so, so yeah. But yeah, we definitely see that. We also see like the privacy type packs in prenup. Um, as well.

Billie Tarascio: Yeah, so I, I don't, I don't wanna make it more [00:21:00] difficult for people to get divorced and this is timely because mm-hmm, , um, we just had our new speaker of the house talking about covenant marriages and, um, so there is a lot of discussion about, you know, should it no fault divorce does make it easier to get divorced, but I, I don't hate the idea of, of two people committing to a process.

For a certain amount of time to try to, um, get, uh, resolve their differences or come to some agreements about restructuring their family without going through the court process because I've seen the court process destroy families and just make it harder for a family to 

Erin Levine: restructure. Yeah, it's not just the court process, right?

Like, it is the forms, um, the, the procedure in and of itself. So the court process is really problematic because it ramps up conflict. It destroys trust, instead of building it, it gives us really only one [00:22:00] main solution to resolving issues, which is, you know, to, to battle it out. But the forms in and of itself, every state has, you know, 20, 30, 40, sometimes 50 forms that you have to do.

And if you are self represented, And you look at the form and it says you are the defendant, you are the respondent, you are being sued, you have to do X. And then it has a bunch of language that you have no idea what it means. I mean, crazy language, like in Texas it will say something like standard order of possession.

What the heck does that mean? It has to do with your kids. Order of possession. I mean, these words are crazy. Like if that doesn't ramp up fear and turn people into like, you know, angry, like, I don't know what does. So the entire system just, yeah. So I love the idea [00:23:00] of giving people an alternate path.

Absolutely. 

Billie Tarascio: Yeah, and I think most people would commit to that if they knew they could, um, and, and then let's talk about enforceability, so at least in Arizona, um, like a pet clause would not be enforceable in family court because pets are community property, but we have the option to have a consent decree that is not merged.

Which is getting a little tricky here legally, but essentially to make it a separate enforceable contract that would be handled in civil court. And then you can include things that would otherwise be unenforceable and have it be enforceable. So does that Love it. Does that work that way in California as well, or no?

Erin Levine: Yeah, I mean we, so that's, we, so we've, we've created, um, in states that allow that, we've created something for, at Hello Divorce, and Uh, agreement generator that allows you to build a contract with your spouse, um, that you can attach to your divorce [00:24:00] judgment, or you can, or divorce decree, or you can, it could be a standalone contract between you and your spouse, and it can include all of these terms, and, um, you'll, for some states, it's enforceable, um, some states it's not, um, but, um, You know, it just kind of, it depends on, on where you're located, but it's, we have it available nationwide, which is, is really helpful and a lot of people are taking advantage of that.

Yeah, 

Billie Tarascio: and I think if it can be written in a way where, you know, there's consideration, like I am giving something up in exchange for this privacy that you're promising. Yes. It should be enforceable, and I can't tell you how many times in our courts I have seen parties, um, disclose intimate videos 

Erin Levine: or 

Billie Tarascio: images and it just makes my blood boil.

Like it is such a breach of trust. It is so the antithesis of a [00:25:00] marriage and talk about throwing gasoline on a fire. There should be some privacy considerations while also allowing You know, when it's relevant, when you have information about, you know, whether or not your children are going to be in danger, you need to be able to bring that up.

Erin Levine: Yeah. I mean, I always say my happiest clients, the customers that were able to bounce back the quickest, that were able to set themselves up for financial and emotional resilience are the people that made choices. Based on the life that they wanted to create, not the past they were leaving behind. So if they had the choice, were they going to bring up all that dirt and focus on that to punish their ex?

Or were they going to learn how to structure their budget in a way that they could build a settlement agreement where maybe they wouldn't get everything but that [00:26:00] they'd be able to make ends meet in the moment and build upon that for the future? Like that became like, you know, what, what would the choice be?

And, you know, the latter makes so much more sense. And those are the people that come back days, months, years later, and, you know, are so proud of their achievements. Do 

Billie Tarascio: you have any data on that? How people are kind of landing or how they're doing post divorce? Do they give you any feedback on that? 

Erin Levine: Yeah, so this was, this is really interesting to me.

So, we, so, um, you're so much better at this, because your law firm, I mean, you've always used it as a testing ground, and you've been so innovative, my law firm was not as innovative, very focused on the divorce process itself, so when the divorce was over, you know, we would generally, you know, say goodbye to our clients, wish them well, and that was that.

[00:27:00] With Hello Divorce, um, something started happening. When we first finished those few divorces early on, and that is people started to come back and ask us questions and return to our platform. And we, we couldn't figure out what was happening. And we started looking at our data to figure out what, what's going on here.

And it turned out that 88%, 88 percent of our customers after their divorce was finalized. We're coming back, and what we realized and wouldn't, hadn't figured out before was that, um, and it should have been a light bulb, but it wasn't, was that, you know, divorce is like so much more than law. It is a entire cultural affair.

life transition, right? Everything is changing from how and when and where you parent to whether or not you need a new health insurance policy, to where you might live, um, to maybe how you [00:28:00] style yourself and who you might date. I mean, everything, like your entire life is changing and, and, you know, people needed and wanted more, um, support with that.

And so this gave us an incredible opportunity to get to know our customers more and to provide them like more of the resources and things that they were craving. So, there's a few things that we've learned. Um, one is that the, by far, the, the, the resource that they craved most, um, Is what we initially, well, so we did polls to find out what exactly they wanted most.

The first thing that we provided as a result was an online support group. Men and women, both, really requested. And wanted it. Like that was very, very key. Um, so that, that became a really, really important resource. Um, then there were [00:29:00] other things that were like much smaller that you wouldn't necessarily think of that became wildly popular.

Like, like how to change your car title after divorce. Sure. Yeah, so, 

Billie Tarascio: so no idea about necessarily how they landed financially or the level of conflict or like how many people had to go back and amend their order. Do we have any data on that? 

Erin Levine: So, um, do we have data on it? We have, um, we have data. Yes. Is it like on the I think we'll have to do a follow up.

Okay, no problem. I don't have it right in front of me and I don't want to misquote anything. I totally put you on to share more. No, I love, I'm fine with it. I just, I don't want to misquote anything. But yes, we definitely, we keep it, we keep in contact. My point was to say that we keep in contact, um, we definitely like to follow up.

We have a lot of people who have returned, um, but I just don't have much, um, in the [00:30:00] way of, um, stats on that right now. Yeah, 

Billie Tarascio: no problem. Um, the other thing that we mentioned that I want to circle back to is what's going on with housing. What's going on with, I mean, interest rates are crazy. I've heard it's like the worst time to sell, the worst time to buy.

We know that when people are going through a divorce, they often do not have a choice. They have to buy out their spouse and there's no way to do that except for to refinance usually or to sell. So what are you seeing people do? 

Erin Levine: Yeah, this makes my blood boil because I just saw an article on Wall Street Journal about divorces being messier than ever because the interest rates are so high and spouses are making, because they can't afford to buy each other out through a refinance of their mortgage, everyone's having to sell.

And it made me so mad because I contacted that journalist and I said, you, you gotta hear, you gotta hear from me, there are other options, and of course. They didn't listen to me because I'm just a startup founder, but [00:31:00] um, it is, it's really frustrating, especially now. Um, so here's what we did. So first of all, I, I didn't expect that a lot of our, um, customers would be homeowners only because a lot of our customers would not have hired a lawyer to begin with because lawyers are so expensive.

Um, but it turned out 85 percent of our customers do have homes. And, um, we're not talking about for the most part, 10 million homes. We're talking about three, four, five, 600, 000 homes. And these are homes that are their biggest, biggest asset that they have. And they've worked really hard and it's important for at least one of them to keep it.

Because they've got a kid in varsity football. They've got their church. They've got community. If one of them can afford to keep it, they want to be able to do that, at least for the short term. And so, we started to look into refinance options for them, and [00:32:00] refinancing the house was hard enough, but then adding on a high interest rate.

just made the payment balloon so high that it just felt unreasonable. So then we started looking at, well, what about if we continue to co own for a little while? You know, but that comes with problems because you're divorcing someone and now you're owning property with them. It's possible, but it's tricky.

So what we did was brought on, and we'll link, I'll share with Billie, um, our equity split calculator so you all can try it out yourself. It's completely free. It's a tool that you can use to learn about your own options. And then from there, you can jump on with our real estate, um, strategist for a half hour call, again, completely free, but we went out there and we vetted hundreds and hundreds of options to find out what else is out there.

And not [00:33:00] everything works for everyone. And there's a lot of predatory options that we got rid of, but there are other things out there. So as an example, there are home equity investment options. That's where a third party comes in and they buy out your spouse and they go on your title and they sit on your title until one day when, and if you sell, they get their, they get their money back plus.

Some of the increase in value. Right? So I'm not explaining it. Great. But this is an example of one of the options. Another option is a sale lease back where you sell the house now. Maybe not, maybe you don't love it, but you sell the house now, you and your spouse get paid. But you can continue to lease the house at a fixed rate, rent the house for a fixed amount of time, which could be one year, it could be ten [00:34:00] years, but you set The term and the amount of the rent.

Billie Tarascio: Yeah, that's a great 

Erin Levine: idea. There's lots of options out there. There's another one that I, when I mentioned it to my mother, she was like, what is it, the 1980s again? And it's true, this option hasn't been around since the 80s, but it's resurfaced. It's called an And most lawyers will be like, Oh, no, that's not an option.

And I can tell you that most lawyers will say it because I said it. It hasn't been an option for years, but in some cases it is right now. And that's where you assume the loan. Like you get to take it from your spouse. It's not available to everyone, but in some scenarios right now it is. So the point is, is that.

There are options, and you should know about them. Can we talk about that for 

Billie Tarascio: a second? Does the ability to assume a loan, is this really based on the terms of the mortgage? [00:35:00] Okay, so most of us have never read our mortgage. But you may have the ability in, in your mortgage documents in that contract, and then it wouldn't be up to the lender.

You would just have that ability, and you would just follow that 

Erin Levine: process, right? Oh, so I'm not the expert, but that's why we brought the expert, and that's why we have the, the tool. Got it. Okay, so if anybody's interested in this... Watch our replay of the webinar, because, and talk to our strategists. Because they're, they're, they can tell you and, um, uh, it's like, there are, there are definitely options out there.

I don't know exactly how all of them work. My job was to vet, to figure it out, to pull all this together so that I could be able to offer something to our community that, that actually works. And if, if, if it's not an option, then... It's good to know, too. But, [00:36:00] um, we can talk to you, we can talk to your spouse, we can talk to both of you, we can bring in a mediator to help anyone.

resolve a dispute around the property, but I think it's important to know that's, that's why we, that's why we did it. It was just, it was too frustrating. Yeah. So 

Billie Tarascio: that's so fantastic. Okay. Now both people can be members of HelloDivorce, right? 

Erin Levine: Is it your birthday? Nope. 

Billie Tarascio: Zoom has new AI tools. Oh! And sometimes they turn on.

I know, it's so 

Erin Levine: funny. It's amusing. Um, yes. So, um, either party can use Modern Divorce at, um, any point. during their divorce process. I mean, ideally you would use it together and at the same time. Sure. Um, and, um, but yeah, either party can use 

Billie Tarascio: it. Either and both, right? Both at the same [00:37:00] time can be using HelloDivorce.

Yes. Because it's not adversarial. I just, I think this is so important for people to understand. 

Erin Levine: Yes. So especially for the real estate piece, because the real estate piece, that's what makes us so different, right? Is we're neutral. The real estate piece is completely neutral. So like if you go to a bank, their job is to sell you a loan.

Our job is to find you the best deal, right? And then. We get paid by whatever company you, if you ultimately choose a company, let's say we find you the best deal. If you choose that company, then we will ultimately get paid by that company when your deal closes. Love it. So that's. I think it's fair to be transparent to help you understand how that works, but, um, 

Billie Tarascio: I just think that's just another great creative solution and it's just one more creative solution that you are looking for on behalf of [00:38:00] the collective of humans who are divorcing, so I, I just love that about you.

I love how progressive you are and how you're just pushing forward options for people. It's been great to talk to you. I've really enjoyed this episode. Thank you so much for coming on the show today. You're 

Erin Levine: welcome. Thank you. Thanks so much for having me. 

Billie Tarascio: If you all have enjoyed this episode of the Modern Divorce podcast, make sure to download it, rank it, leave a review, and let us know what else you would like to have on the show.

That's it for today.

Making Divorce Affordable
Tools and Experts to Help
New Divorce Data
Paw-renting Agreements
Agreement out of Conflict
Vacation agreements
Enforceable Video Privacy Agreements
Remaking Your Life For The Better
Home Equity Options For Splitting Up
Assumption of Mortgage and Lease Option Buyouts