“Here’s my first person review of Wevorce” isn’t exactly a phrase I expected myself to be writing a year or two ago. But divorce isn’t something anyone plans on.
I’m going to share how I decided that online divorce was right for me, how I learned about Wevorce and my experience using the program to carry out my online divorce. I know this isn’t an easy decision to make, so here’s the information necessary to make a decision that feels right for you.
Caveat: My ex knows about this review and agreed to me sharing this experience. The divorce process was so confusing and painful for me. If my experience helps just one couple decide on a program that works for them, it is worth sharing this vulnerable experience.
After losing a loved one, psychologists say, divorce is the second most stressful life event anyone can experience. I felt this firsthand as the stress and heartbreak of my separation hit me like a freight train. As I dealt with the grief, shame, confusion and pain of accepting the fate of my marriage, my No. 1 priority when it came to approaching the divorce process was to make it as quick, easy and painless as possible. I didn’t need a lengthy court process to make things even more stressful than they already were.
Since the goal was fast and easy, my first instinct was to try handling it myself. I first went to the San Diego County website and found I was eligible for divorce in California due to the length of time I’d lived there with my spouse. But after struggling to navigate through a series of guides on the San Diego website — plus looking at a list of over 50 available forms to download that all had vaguely similar sounding names — I knew I wasn’t going to be legally savvy enough to do this on my own. I remembered that we reviewed Wevorce previously on Finder, so I looked it up to see what we had to say.
Wevorce uses a network of private judges, trained facilitators and arbitrators to help couples complete an uncontested divorce online. It’s available for uncontested divorces only, where the couple is cooperating and can come to a mutual agreement without the need for lawyers or court to reach an agreement.
Yes. Wevorce has been in business since 2012 and can help you complete your uncontested divorce online and submit your documents to get a confirmation from the court.
Wevorce costs $3,450 if you don’t have children and $5,850 if you do. It comes with a seven-day free trial, where you can sign up, fill out the Wevorce questionnaire and get access to educational resources.
Does Wevorce have promo codes?
No. Wevorce is full-priced, starting at $3,450 for couples without children. It is not offering coronavirus discounts or hardship pricing at this time.
My take: Was the price worth it?
Not for me, specifically. I determined it might cost me roughly $600 to $1,000 to file the paperwork in the court system myself. So for an extra $2,000, we could save some time and get legal help to accurately fill out the right forms and send them to the correct places.
The process was private, quick and let us skip the six-month wait in California to receive the decree. The biggest benefit for us was the private judge. Because my spouse and I had agreed to a settlement beforehand, we didn’t use the extra resources Wevorce offers.
It would have cost a lot less to hire a private judge arbitration service directly. But if you think you’ll need the advice of a professional and mediation services, it could absolutely be worth it to you — all situations are different, and I had an unusually smooth and collaborative divorce.
So for privacy, speed and ease, Wevorce was absolutely worth it. But compared to other DIY services, it’s the most expensive one I’ve found. If I would have compared services before I got started, I may have found a cheaper option. Compare services so you end up with one that works best for your situation.
Pros and cons
- Speed. Your divorce can be finalized in 30 days, compared to months or years using the court system.
- Empathy. I found all three of the people I worked with through the Wevorce platform to be patient, kind, empathetic and calm — which is exactly what I needed when emotions are already running high.
- Collaborative. Our private judge made sure the agreement we finalized worked for both of us, and took the time to explain each part of the agreement.
- Price. Wevorce is the most expensive DIY divorce service I’ve found. It’s Over Easy is half the price for the same service.
- Communication. It was unclear what steps we had to take to get going. I had to reach out three times to nudge the process along.
- Unclear steps. The platform only outlines the steps broadly, not specifically. Since most of the work is done over email and through Docusign, it’s unclear what happens next without having to ask about the next steps each time.
On the Wevorce website, the process is broken down into five steps:
- Create your account
- Invite your spouse to join
- Complete the online questionnaire
- Finalize the agreement and parenting plan
- Meet with a private judge
In reality, the process — and this is pretty much true for divorce in general — is broken down into two major parts: coming to an agreement and finalizing the legal documents.
My take on signing up: Signing up was fast and starts with a seven-day free trial, so you don’t need credit card information right away.
Wevorce offers free consultations to help you determine if it’s the right fit. The thing that struck me the most when talking to the Wevorce rep during my free consultation was his patience and empathy. Just hearing him explain the simplicity of the process in such a kind way made me feel immediate relief. This was a positive first impression, and I can tell that Wevorce emphasizes this quality in its employees.
I asked whether I’d be given an account manager — someone I could refer to for questions throughout the process — and the rep assured me that person was him, so I could email him anytime. Though convenient, I wondered how he had enough time to do both jobs of sales and account management for a company doing a million divorces a year, as they claim.
After signing up, you’re given an eligibility questionnaire which helps Wevorce make sure your divorce is truly uncontested. If it’s not (for example, you don’t know where your spouse is), you aren’t eligible to use the service.
I signed up with my ex and we went through the form together, so there was no need to invite him into the platform. But at this point, if you’re not living with your spouse, you’d invite them onto the platform after signing up so you’re both on the same page.
My take on the agreements:
The award agreements is where you disclose your assets, debts and investments. There are questions regarding how you and your spouses plan to split them up. Once you and your spouse agree on how to divvy everything up, this information provides the basis for the legal documents.
It helps to gather your account information beforehand and get an understanding of all your assets, debts and investments. My ex and I had already made a spreadsheet accounting for everything, and how we were going to split it up. So the agreements portion only took us two hours to fill out.
If you have kids, you’ll use Wevorce’s $5,850 product for couples with children. I cannot vouch for the parenting plan, as I don’t have kids, but it prompts you to explain and agree to a parenting arrangement that outlines how often and where the children will stay with each parent. The arrangement can be as specific or as flexible as you want.
The agreements portion of the divorce process can be hard at times, even if you’re cooperating and amicable. Wevorce offers unlimited support from lawyers, counselors and financial professionals to help guide you through this process.
Once the parenting plan is finalized, the agreements portion is complete.
After we submitted the forms through the system, I received an on-screen confirmation that Wevorce has received the forms. This is where the process became a little unclear.
First, Wevorce doesn’t have a messaging system through the online account. Several days went by without me hearing from Wevorce, which was unusual in a process where you need to know what’s going on. Eventually, I reached out to the account manager and asked about the next steps.
The next step was payment. The account manager let us know in an email that we would receive a “private judge agreement” via DocuSign and a separate invoice through Stripe. After reading and signing, we received confirmation from DocuSign that the document was submitted to Wevorce.
I found it unusual how much we’d done outside the Wevorce portal and over email. I appreciate that DocuSign and Stripe have their own security features and are trusted ways to sign formal documents online and make secure payments, but it would have been helpful to have a single timeline on the Wevorce portal so that we could understand what to expect.
Private judge and finalizing the documents
After we paid, the agreements were sent to the private judge. He emailed to schedule the 30-minute arbitration on Google Meet, and the initial Wevorce consultation was on Zoom. A single video platform could streamline the process a bit.
On the call, we were met with a kind, empathetic, patient judge. He was very calm and explained things in terms that were easy to understand, leaving me with a feeling of relief. He offered to speak with our mortgage lender on the phone if they had any questions about the legal documents, which was thoughtful.
Since we wanted to move things along — and I already had to nudge them a few times — I asked to schedule the arbitration as soon as possible. The judge prepared our documents and sent them to us for review the next day. Two days later, the arbitration lasted an hour. The judge stayed on the line and waited while we signed the final forms and made everything official.
He thanked us for our time, wished us well and left us with some parting words via email. It was a hugely emotional experience, even though I felt like I was ready to do it. I recommend taking the day off or even the whole week, if you can, just so you can have some time to process emotions and decompress.
What is a certified private judge?
A private judge is usually a former judge or lawyer with experience in arbitration who can act as a neutral party, hear the case and make a decision similar to a court judge. A Wevorce “certified” private judge is described as an “arbitrator who brings at least 10 years of experience to your divorce.”
These judges have completed Wevorce’s six-month certification course, and Wevorce says they “must maintain a higher customer service rating than Apple” within their internal customer service scores. According to a Wevorce representative, Apple’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) — a tool used to gauge customer loyalty — is consistently and significantly higher than average NPS scores across the consumer electronics industry.
Court confirmation is helpful if your spouse doesn’t honor their end of the agreement or pay the settlement on time. Since this service was included, I figured it couldn’t hurt to use it. As of this writing I still haven’t received it, but it’s only been a month and the courts are backed up due to coronavirus closures.
At this point, the divorce agreement is legal and binding, even though I haven’t stepped foot in a court. Court confirmation is technically optional, but the private judge offered to help file our forms in the proper court system. However, we haven’t received an email stating that he’s done this, so I’ve had to follow up again.
Wevorce reviews and complain
This is only my experience. And since every relationship is different, you may find an entirely different one as you travel down this path.
As of October 2020, Wevorce has:
- C+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with 13 complaints closed in the last three years. It has three reviews with a total average of 2.5 stars out of 5.
- Zero reviews on Trustpilot.
- Two reviews on Yelp for a total average of 1 star out of 5.
The lack of reviews — and what few reviews that do exist mostly negative — is concerning for a brand of this size that touts itself as having “settled more divorces than anyone else in the country.” One complaint on Yelp highlights Wevorce’s contradictory “100% satisfaction guarantee” refund policy that was not honored.
My experience speaking to the private judge and the account manager were very positive — kindness and patience is so key during a process where emotions run high. But the communication issues and the lack of clarity around the steps made it frustrating during a period of my life when I just wanted everything to go smoothly. The fact that I had to be the one to nudge us along made me wonder if that was normal for this kind of service. The account manager was also handling sales, making it clear he’s stretched pretty thin.
If Wevorce can hire more employees, it may be able to get communication issues resolved and have more bandwidth to usher couples along the timeline, instead of making them wonder what’s next.
My account manager was very responsive when I emailed — just not when I was wondering what the next steps were. When I had questions about the process, I received answers the same or next day.
You can contact Wevorce by:
- Contact form
- Schedule a call
The live chat was a bit confusing: It’s a chat bot with no option to escalate to a human. Once you open the chat, it prompts you with some automatic questions, starting with: “What’s on your mind, Adrienne?” I answered “divorce,” because I really don’t think this chatbot wants the true answer to this question. The last question it asked me was, “What do you want?” Again, I answered “divorce.” In its quest to sound conversational, the chat can come across as confusing.