California-based family law and divorce attorney and Hello Divorce founder Erin Levine has been practicing law for 16 years.
Levine was inspired to become an attorney as a young adult after her own experience with the law when she brought criminal and civil charges against her former gymnastics coach.
“I experienced the legal system as chaotic and confusing, and found that it amplified my trauma, rather than bringing justice,” she tells ET.
She eventually became a divorce litigator and opened up her own firm, but still held on to the goal of helping people and reducing trauma for those seeking relief from the court. This led Levine to start Hello Divorce, a combination of software and accessible, affordable legal services that make the divorce process simpler and less stressful.
The company offers self-service and guided processes that help with everything from making divorce forms easier, to navigating the rules regarding submission of those forms to the court, to problem solving, conflict resolution and in some cases, access to legal advice.
“No one should be bankrupted by divorce and no one should stay in an unhappy or unhealthy marriage simply because they can’t afford it,” she says.
“Both adults and children fare far better post-divorce when there’s less conflict and uncertainty about finances or relationships. Divorce is not the end of a family, it’s simply a reorganization,” the attorney adds.
Her top tips for couples who are divorcing include, “Start with ground rules and see if you and your spouse can agree to try and keep your divorce out of court. … Work together to answer questions like, ‘When, how, and where will we discuss divorce-related topics? Will the end game be an agreement that we can both live with? Who will be the petitioner? How and when will we tell the kids?'”
When asked about celebrity divorces, Levine believes Demi Moore and Bruce Willis handled their split as successfully as possible.
“They were married for more than a decade, shared children together, and even though their breakup and eventual divorce was admittedly painful, as it is for everyone, they moved away from the past hurt and re-centered the conversation around who they wanted to be in the future as co-parents and as partners looking after the health of their family,” she explains.
“Their children have said that they never had to choose between one parent or another and even after 20 years of divorce, they chose to shelter in place together during the COVID-19 pandemic,” she continues.
Hello Divorce is available in California, Texas, Colorado and Utah and prices range from $99-$2,000 per person.
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