Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Would You Like Alimony With That?

While lawyers were slow to jump on the Internet bandwagon, we are now fully on board.  And perhaps, no group of lawyers have embraced the Internet more tightly than our brethren in the family law bar.  They have taken the delivery of legal services over the web to a new high ... or perhaps, a new low.  At least, that is my initial reaction to DivorceDeli.com (pictured below -- Do you see how happy these people are?)

Now, don't get me wrong.  I understand that we are long past the days of a white picket fence, a two-parent home and a solvent American bank.  In this country, half of all marriages end in failure; and the other half end in divorce.  In short, divorce has become as American as hot dogs, mom and apple pie.  I'm just not so sure that we should make divorce as easy to order as apple pie.

Yet, that is precisely what DivorceDeli.com attempts to do.  It offers a "menu" of flat-fee services to make divorce as easy as ordering a Happy Meal from McDonald's.  For example, a married couple without children can obtain a divorce for just $249.  Of course, they can "supersize" their dissolution to include the whole family for just $50 more.  (I say, "Why not?"  It's such a bargain!)

Once again, I understand that marriages fail and that divorce is necessary (and in some cases, desirable).  I'm just not so crazy about the Madison Avenue approach to it.  Perhaps, you shouldn't get to "Have It Your Way!" when you file for a divorce.  Besides, what's next -- drive-through divorces?

Voice from speaker: "Welcome to Divorce Hut, how may we help you today?"

Husband: "We can't stand each other and ..."

Wife: "Shut up!  You always make it everything so complicated!  We'd like to order a #1 divorce with a side of joint custody."

Voice from speaker: "Would you like alimony with that?"

Husband: "No!!!!"

Voice from speaker: "Any charges of mental or physical abuse of each other or the kids on the side?"

Wife: "No, we'll just have the divorce."

Voice from speaker: "Okay, that will be $299.  Drive up to the first window, please."

Or perhaps, we'll eliminate the need to file for divorce at all.  Instead, the parties can just take each other off their Facebook list of friends and we can call it quits that way.  Custody issues can be decided by a coin flip.  "Okay, heads I get the boy and tails I take the girl ... um ... whatshername ... the short one."

Just a thought ...