LOS ANGELES (AP) — For years, Laura Wasser has been one of the go-to divorce attorneys when Hollywood power couples break up.
Now Wasser wants to bring some of the strategies she’s developed during her career representing stars such as Angelina Jolie, Christina Aguilera and Johnny Depp to help regular couples. Her new site, It’s Over Easy, aims to get couples divorced from their computers or tablets, without having to hire an attorney — or ever set foot in a courthouse.
The website’s formal launch Thursday will allow couples in New York County and throughout California to handle their divorces and child custody arrangements online. Wasser said the inspiration came from her own online shopping habits, and hearing from people who want to handle their own divorces but find the process too confusing, expensive, intimidating — or all of those things and more.
“I feel like there’s so many people who these days shop online, date online, bank online — maybe they actually even met dating online — and now they’re married,” she said. “Why not give them the opportunity to do this online?”
She said the site’s goal is “changing the face of divorce.” It requires both parties to use the site to complete their judgment, although work is transferrable to a lawyer if needed.
The process is based on core questions Wasser asks clients and techniques she uses to try to keep breakups amicable.
Wasser, 49, said she urges people undergoing a divorce or end of a long-term relationship to try to think about the moments they really cared for the other person, such as when they proposed marriage or the birth of a child. “Try to get back to them and realize that there is something good that did come out of your relationship. Focus on that and try to find a way forward,” she said. “It’s so much better for your emotional health to be able to do it that way.”
It’s Over Easy is part service-oriented and part-lifestyles site, with Wasser and others sharing their approaches to managing finances during a breakup, co-parenting children, and surviving holiday gatherings.
Users of the site fill in financial information and details about what days are most important for them to have their children. At the end of process, both sides will have documents that can lead to legal divorces and custody agreements.
The site has three tiers, ranging from $750 for a guided do-it-yourself filing to a premium, $2,500 service that includes filing of court documents, 90 minutes of mediation counselling and document filing with the court.
Wasser’s services, by comparison, start with a $25,000 retainer and $850 an hour.
The site could even work for some of her clients. “I think there are probably some that can go through this process. They probably wouldn’t mind seeing me less, paying me less,” she joked.
Other sites offer similar services, such as Devorce, which is affiliated with another online legal resource, LegalZoom. But those services aren’t fronted by a lawyer like Wasser, who doesn’t comment about her celebrity clients but is familiar to readers of TMZ and other celebrity sites.
Wasser became a family law attorney after she finished law school and her marriage was coming to an end. She asked her father, divorce lawyer Dennis Wasser, for a job. Her first assignment was to handle her own divorce. She remains friends with her first husband, she said.
As for concerns the site will make it too simple for couples to divorce, Wasser is sceptical.
“We’re not making it too easy,” Wasser said. “Divorce is very difficult, but it is happening. And I hardly think that anybody is going to see … our advertisements and go ‘Oh I hadn’t even thought of that. Now I’m going to get divorced.'”