December 13

Creating the Amicable Divorce Network with Tracy Moore-Grant

Episode Description

If given a choice, most people would prefer to divorce amicably, affordably and efficiently. Yet the divorce system isn't structured to make any of those things happen.

As a divorce lawyer who litigated divorces for decades, Tracy Moore Grant got tired of seeing people get dragged through time-consuming and expensive divorces simply because that's the way divorces "have always been done." She also got tired of overpriced lawyers creating conflict, rather than resolving it.

That's why she created the Amicable Divorce Network. It's the world's first and only organization that vets divorce professionals using 3 criteria:

  • Experience in family law
  • Fair billing practices
  • Maintaining a resolution focus

To learn more about how the Amicable Divorce process works, and how you can use the Amicable Divorce Network to lower the conflict (and the price tag!) of your own divorce, tune in now.

Show Notes

About Tracy

Tracy Moore-Grant has practiced exclusively in the area of family law since 2002 and is a founding partner of the firm Patterson Moore Butler. She focuses her practice being a non-litigation attorney helping parties resolve issues outside of the court system as an uncontested and amicable divorce attorney, mediator, arbitrator and parent coordinator. She is the founder of the Amicable Divorce Network, an international association of vetted professionals who are dedicated to helping people navigate the process of divorce in an efficient and low conflict manner. She has been the guest on many podcasts and authored many articles on issues relating to low conflict divorce. She is the recipient of both a Georgia Legal Award (2020) and a Southeastern Legal Award (2023) for the positive impact the Amicable Divorce Network has had on the legal process for divorce. She resides in Georgia and is a wife, step-mother and schnauzer lover.

Connect with Tracy

You can connect with Tracy on her Facebook Business Page at Amicable Divorce Network, on LinkedIn at Tracy Moore-Grant and on her LinkedIn Business Page at Amicable Divorce Network.  You can also find Tracy on YouTube at Amicable Divorce Network, Instagram at Amicable Divorce Network and on TikTok at Amicable Divorce Network.  To find out more about this organization and to find participating professionals please visit the website at Amicable Divorce Network.  The best way to get in touch with Tracy is via email at [email protected].

Your Divorce Consultation Checklist.

Key Takeaways From This Episode with Tracy

  • Tracy Moore-Grant is a family law attorney and mediator who founded the Amicable Divorce Network.
  • Moore-Grant started the network to connect people with ethical professionals after seeing many cases of people feeling taken advantage of financially and emotionally during stressful divorces.
  • The Amicable Divorce Network vets divorce industry professionals based on three criteria: experience in family law, fair billing practices, and having a resolution focus. The goal is to connect people going through divorce with ethical professionals committed to efficiency and reducing conflict.
  • The network has been operating in Georgia since 2019 and has recently expanded globally. Parties must work with network member attorneys to utilize the process.
  • The "amicable divorce process" differs from an uncontested divorce in that each spouse has their own amicable divorce network attorney to assist with negotiations and paperwork. It utilizes structured timelines, information sharing, and bring in other professionals like mediators or financial experts as needed.
  • Key advantages of the amicable divorce process include:
    •  Lower cost than traditional litigated divorce (average $5k per person vs. $28.5k in Georgia)
    •  Faster timeline
    •  More flexibility around issues like mental health or addiction
    • Privacy compared to the court system
  • The key differentiators from mediation and collaborative divorce are that professionals don't have to use certain team members or withdraw if the case moves to litigation. There is also vetting of professionals to ensure suitability for the low-conflict process.
  • Overall, the Amicable Divorce Network aims to provide an efficient, child-centered, mentally healthy, cost-effective, and private divorce process compared to litigation.

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 Creating the Amicable Divorce Network with Tracy Moore-Grant

Tracy Moore-Grant


 amicable, uncontested, low-conflict


Karen Covy, Tracy Moore-Grant

Karen Covy Host00:03

Hello and welcome to Off the Fence, a podcast where we deconstruct difficult decision making to help us figure out what keeps us stuck and, more importantly, how do we get unstuck. I'm your host, Karen Covey, a former divorce lawyer, mediator and arbitrator, turned coach, author and entrepreneur. With me today is Tracy Moore-Grant. Tracy is a Georgia lawyer who has practiced exclusively in the area of family law since 2002. She is a founding partner of the firm Patterson Moore Butler. She focuses her practice being a non-litigation attorney, helping parties resolve issues outside of the court system. As an uncontested and amicable divorce attorney, mediator, arbitrator and parent coordinator, Tracy is also the founder of the Amicable Divorce Network, an international association of vetted professionals who are dedicated to helping people navigate the process of divorce in an efficient and low-conflict manner. She's been the guest on many podcasts and authored many articles on issues relating to low-conflict divorce, and she's the recipient of both a Georgia Legal Award in 2020 and a Southeastern Legal Award in 2023 for the positive impact the Amicable Divorce Network has had on the legal process for divorce.


She resides in Georgia and is a wife, stepmother and a schnauzer lover. You gotta love that part, Tracy. Welcome to the show Tracy.

Tracy Moore-Grant Guest

Thank you so much for having me Karen.

Karen Covy Host

You're welcome. I'm excited to have you here and I want to just dive in right away and ask you what is the Amicable Divorce Network? Because I think most of the listeners have heard of amicable divorce, but this means more than that. Can you explain?

Tracy Moore-Grant Guest01:53

So the Amicable Divorce Network is the only organization in the entire world that vets divorce industry professionals on three very important criteria One is experience in family law, the second is fair billing practices and the third is that the professional has a resolution focus. There are a lot of bad actors in family law, I hate to say, and so our goal is to collect all of the good eggs and put them in one basket so that people, when they see that they're a member, they know that they're getting a resolution focused and financially reasonable process.

Karen Covy Host02:33

Okay, that's awesome. I'd like to dig a little deeper into some of those with you. What does resolution focused mean?

Tracy Moore-Grant Guest02:42

So resolution focus would be a professional that tries to resolve cases as opposed to creating conflict in cases, and many members of the public don't understand that. There are different types of family law professionals. So there are ones that whip up the conflict and are telling you to run to court to file the motions, to have the depositions and to do all the things and in some circumstances absolutely warranted but statistically, over 95% of divorce cases never see the inside of a courtroom, and so we are looking for those professionals that turn down the temperature, are giving really solid legal advice, financial advice. We have all kinds of members, but their entire goal is to have a child-centered focus, help parties get to a resolution and do that in a mentally healthy and efficient manner.

Karen Covy Host03:44

So, in other words, you're looking for divorce professionals who will get the divorce done.

Tracy Moore-Grant Guest03:53

Yes, yeah. I mean because the reality is, the longer it goes on, the more conflict you have. There is only one person that benefits from that perhaps two, and that's the divorce attorneys, and so that is something that we definitely try to avoid. We want parties to get on the other side of divorce. It's in the best way possible. It's already a traumatic experience, it's a major life change, and they shouldn't be left broke and broken at the end of it.

Karen Covy Host04:24

I couldn't agree with you more. And you mentioned fair billing practices. What does that mean?

Tracy Moore-Grant Guest04:31

Fair billing practices is something that we definitely look for, and that means, primarily, a thing is not done, which is called churning, and so generally, our members are referred by their colleagues. People do also apply for membership, and when they do, these are the things that we look for. We vet them with all of our professionals in the area. Do you have experience with this person? You know? Do you know this professional? What can you say about them? And one of the key criteria is fair billing practices.


What many people don't understand is that there are certain legal models out there. For example, one I heard recently which is apparently true is, for example, if a family has $100,000 in assets, this firm's goal is that they get paid a third of those assets. So if they can articulate there's $100,000, they should get paid $33,000 for that case, and so they will increase the cost and conflict until they get their money and then they'll resolve the case, and so that is the type of behavior that we will not allow. There's also these things where firms will have a firm meeting, and some firm meetings are absolutely legitimate, but we can very easily look at an attorney's fee bill and see that they just said tell us about the Smith case, and then everybody in the room will build for that conversation and that person has a charge for all kinds of people having a conversation about their case. Some people didn't really even have a conversation or have any reason to be there at all.


And then a third thing is what's called sort of document passing, which is where somebody might get a request for discovery. It's very normal for the paralegal to get that, to put it into the system and to do certain things with it, but they will have that document pass through three or more people. This person received it and reviewed it. This person received, so you get triple the charges on the same thing. And many people because you only go through a divorce, hopefully wants in your life, if that I mean gosh don't know that this is unusual. They don't have anything to compare it to. So how do they know, like this is not the correct way to be billed? They don't know, and they're in such a hard and difficult time. They don't question that, they just want to get through it. And so we're trying to filter out those types of things and not allow those members access to our organization so that we have absolutely the best professionals out there to offer the public.

Karen Covy Host07:11

So, just so that the public is clear when you're talking about point one. Just to make sure that everybody understands lawyers, typically divorce lawyers bill by the hour, right, correct, and they bill in increments of an hour. Some will bill point one, which is a tenth of an hour, which is six minutes, and so, even if they look at something and it takes 30 seconds, the lowest amount that they'll bill is six minutes, right, correct? Yes, and then other I know other lawyers I don't know if you've heard of them where their smallest increment is point two, five. So, like, it's 15 minutes, no matter what they do.

Tracy Moore-Grant Guest07:47

Absolutely. I've definitely seen that as well and as a divorce attorney myself, I have never had a client ask me in a consult if I billed, how I billed. Did I bill point one an hour or did I bill by the 15th? Nobody has ever asked me that, so I know the public does not know the difference and so that's a huge cost. Though if it's an email, if it's a you know change of date on your calendar, you know some very small item. That is a huge financial difference it adds up

Karen Covy Host08:16

Yeah, especially because I don't know what's the average you know billing rate for a divorce lawyer. I know it varies depending on what state you're in and if you're in a large city or if you're in a more rural area, but what's the range that you've seen?

Tracy Moore-Grant Guest08:33

So the range you've touched on all of those issues. So the office where I am at is north of Atlanta, we're in the suburbs. Attorney's fee range here is about $250 an hour to $500 an hour, depending on the experience that the attorney has. You know, if they're billing $500 an hour, they should have been doing this for 25 years. You know things of that nature should be factored in. But if you go down into Atlanta, some of those very young attorneys are charging $400, $500 an hour at the bigger firms, and so that's just something to really be knowledgeable about before you're hiring an attorney.

Karen Covy Host09:10

Yeah, and that's something too like. I've worked in Chicago major metropolitan area and I know that some of my colleagues again, especially in the bigger firms, their hourly rates will go up to $6, $7, $8, $900 an hour. So, yeah, it can get, depending on where you're at, it can get pricey. And so while you might think, well, it's the difference between six minutes and 15, understand, that's going to be more than double the cost.

Tracy Moore-Grant Guest09:41

Yeah, absolutely Something to really think about before you hire somebody know what questions to ask and how to really do a comparison of professionals.

Karen Covy Host09:51

What about the professional who says look, I'm going to take a retainer and I'm going to make up numbers here. I need a $10,000 retainer from you. And another lawyer says well, I need, I only need a $5,000, I need a $20,000 retainer. So the retainers are different. What does that tell you, if anything, about how much money you're going to ultimately spend in the long run?

Tracy Moore-Grant Guest10:14

Generally, the retainer is a guide for how much the attorney thinks the cost of the case will be, because they will want to get that money upfront, get paid in full for the case. So whatever retainer it is that you're providing, know that Don't expect to get any back. Now it could be a very low retainer $2,500 or upwards of $20,000 or more that you're talking about. A lot of the members in the network and certainly not all of them, but it's sort of a new thing in family law are charging flat fees and so they are a very transparent flat fee cost. Some of them have it on their website and that's just a one-time charge and so in that situation that's also something interesting to explore, because there's really no motivation for the attorney to churn up time or conflicts, because then they would be losing money by taking a flat fee over time. So that is something I've really seen emerging more and more in our industry.

Karen Covy Host11:14

Yeah, as have I. The thing that I would caution the listeners, though, is that the flat fee is going to have rules surrounding it. If it's usually, the flat fee comes in terms of a divorce where there is no contest, the retainer agreement will say hey, if you start to fight with your spouse, or if these things happen, you are now outside of the flat fee and we're going to start charging you by the hour. So it's something that's important for people to understand. But, speaking of an uncontested divorce, the amicable divorce network has an amicable divorce process, and I know that's a little different than uncontested. Can you make sure our listeners understand what is the amicable divorce process, other than you get a professional who's vetted?

Tracy Moore-Grant Guest12:08

So an uncontested divorce is one where the parties have done all of the negotiation themselves and are going to an attorney to say, please help us fill out this paperwork so that the court approves it and maybe answer some questions. Generally, one attorney is utilized to do that paperwork and to help the parties get it through the court system. In Georgia, even in an uncontested case, an attorney can only have one client. You can't advise both clients, and that's very normal in a lot of states, but the parties are sitting down and figuring it all out. Now where amicable comes in is where most parties fall. They want to be uncontested. They would love to reach an agreement, but they can't. And maybe they can't because they aren't knowledgeable about how to calculate child support or divide a 401k or what to do with their house. Or maybe they can't do it because there's a power imbalance between the two parties, or maybe they can't do it because it's just too hard and too emotional. And so in that situation we have members of the amicable divorce network. Each person hires a member of the amicable divorce network and when that occurs, we can then start the amicable divorce process.


This is an organized and efficient out-of-court process where we set timelines in your case. Sometimes we exchange documents that are needed and people verify those under oath so that you can use that to reach settlements. But it is an extremely streamlined process as compared to a litigation, for example, and it's more back and forth than you would have in an uncontested. You have your attorney negotiating for you, you might have a mediator. We might call in a financial expert to value that small business, so within the network we have a very rich roster of professionals to come in and help with any problem that might arise. It's also hosted on a very sophisticated technology platform through the company DetourLife, which has parties sync their financial records and automatically create spending plans marital balance sheets that are constantly updating, so that it is a very efficient way to share information and gather information in a case, and just using the program really cuts down on the cost for a case, and so it's just a really efficient way for parties to approach their divorce reasonably.

Karen Covy Host14:34

That sounds amazing, but now I have a million questions, so it's not. If I'm understanding this right, it's not just divorce lawyers who are in the amicable divorce network, right, correct?

Tracy Moore-Grant Guest14:47

It is any professional who helps parties before, during or after divorce. And we have a hypnotherapist, we have wellness professionals, we have realtors, we have mortgage professionals, we have coaches like you, Karen. We have, of course, attorneys, mediators, arbitrators, mental health professionals, financial professionals, cdfas, forensic accountants even because, no matter how complex the problem, it is still more efficient to resolve it outside the court system using these professionals than it is to punt it to the court system. So we have in place processes, training, all kinds of different things that help our professionals resolve any problem outside the court system so that we can help the parties divorce efficiently.

Karen Covy Host15:40

So that brings me to the next question. I was going to ask who is this for? Who should consider using this process? Is it just the people who have a simple case?

Tracy Moore-Grant Guest15:51

No, we actually have seen quite the opposite. So we certainly do handle those simple cases where parties don't want their case to blow up. They want to be guaranteed that the professional we're hiring to help is going to honor our wishes. So we absolutely see that. But we're also seeing a huge shift where parties with 20, $50 million estates are turning to the amicable divorce network because number one, it's private.


We are outside of the court system and so, especially with a high asset or celebrity divorce, your dirty laundry is not being aired in the court system. There is no filing, there is nothing for the parties or people to go read in the public. So it's private and we have access to all of the same professionals. If you look at our professionals, you'll see that most of them handle all types of divorce cases. So you might use the same forensic accountant that you would in a high asset case, but because it's the efficient amicable divorce process, you're paying less for that same work. We are seeing a lot of cases in the network that involve mental health and addiction because our process is private, but it's also customized for the parties and we can hit the pause button if somebody needs to get treatment, you know if somebody needs to test out a new medication and then pick the process back up, which you do not have, this flexibility in the court system.

Karen Covy Host17:18

Well, how does the amicable divorce process then differ from other out-of-court processes Like mediation is out of court, collaborative divorce is out of court, and collaborative divorce also uses a team model, which it sounds like that's available in the amicable divorce process. What's the difference?

Tracy Moore-Grant Guest17:39

So first I would say mediation itself isn't a complete process for a divorce. It's a tool to resolve a conflict, but you still need to draft documents, you still have to get legal assistance, you still might need to do calculations and things like that. Every state's different, but in Georgia a mediator can't draft legal paperwork. I can help parties resolve a dispute and I can give them a mediation agreement and then they're like great, what do I do with this? And then they have to go to another professional. So it is a tool to resolve a conflict, but there are still other things that need to be done and it's a tool we utilize a lot. We rely heavily on mediation and it's a highly successful process to get issues resolved.


Collaborative's different as well. So a couple of things. First is they don't have a filter on who can be a collaborative professional. So as long as you take the training, you're deemed to be collaborative and you may not have the best mindset, you may not have fair billing practices. You just have taken the training and now you get to use that label, which sounds great. They're collaborative.


The second part with collaborative is that the team is mandatory. So you have to have two attorneys, you have to have a mental health professional. So immediately the couple is paying several retainers to get this divorce started for multiple professionals and some of them may be not needed and the couple may also not be able to afford to be collaborative. So if they have the collaborative mindset, amicable may be a better fit for them and more economical because they may not need some of the professionals that another family might very much benefit from. And our process is also really designed for the parties and what they need special issues that come up often mental health, addiction, special needs, children, surrogacy laws and different things like that and we do really advanced training with our professionals every year to really make sure that they have all the tools available to solve any issue that comes up.


So collaborative, I think, has the same mindset but does have some key differences, the last being if you can't finish your case in the amicable setting, you just can't. It's just not going to work out. You can still use the same professionals in a litigated case if they want to stay with you and that's something for you guys to work out, but nothing about our process means that you can't use the same people with collaborative. Everybody would have to excuse themselves from the process and the couple would have to start over with new professionals. So we don't have that in amicable and a lot of people don't understand that difference there and that's important to know.

Karen Covy Host20:24

Yeah, that's really interesting. So have you, and this may be well, let me start here. How long has the amicable divorce network been around?

Tracy Moore-Grant Guest

About four and a half years now.

Karen Covy Host

Okay. So do you have any data or statistics? And, mind you, I know how hard it is to try to get statistics from a lawyer on anything. It's not the easiest task. But have you ever had anyone do a comparison of costs, like where amicable falls on the mediation costs? Obviously, the cheapest thing is a kitchen table divorce. The parties work it out themselves. Well, what if there's a? Mediation is one cost, collaborative is one cost, litigation is one cost. Where is amicable fall in that cost? Timeline?

Tracy Moore-Grant Guest21:13

I would say lower middle. So the data that we do have largely surrounds Georgia because we've been operating here since 2019. We do a large amount of cases here and have a very full roster of professionals, so a lot of our data is gathered through that. We just opened up membership to people outside of Georgia just about a year, a year and a half ago timeframe, so we're already global after that point, with members in Canada and the United Kingdom. So we're still collecting that data. Part of our technology platform does have the professionals when they're closing a case give that information so we can continue to capture that. But I can give this for Georgia comparison In Georgia the average cost of a divorce per person was $28,500 was the most recent statistic I saw and the amicable process in comparison is around $5,000. And that is including a mediation generally. So that is the one statistic we do know.

Karen Covy Host22:13

Wow, that's really. That's impressive. And it's impressive how quickly the amicable divorce network has grown from just Georgia to being global in the space of a year or less is amazing. Is it available in every state?

Tracy Moore-Grant Guest22:33

It is. Our goal is to have an attorney member in place in every state in the United States by the end of 2023. I would love to see it happen because, unfortunately, a lot of parties get through the holidays and we see January as the biggest period of time where people are filing for divorce and unfortunately, last year or this year, in the beginning of 2023, we had so many people reach out to the network. They read our articles, they watched our videos, they wanted an amicable divorce and we had nobody in their state to connect them to, and that was heartbreaking because we weren't able to help them. So we would really like to have at least one professional in every state that we can refer them to and perhaps they know colleagues who they can refer to and we can help anybody that needs it in the United States.

Karen Covy Host23:21

So it sounds like people that they need at least one attorney who's in the amicable divorce network. Can they use this process with an attorney who's not in the amicable divorce network?

Tracy Moore-Grant Guest23:37

They cannot. Only our members have training on the process, have been vetted and have access to the technology platform. So we have seen some really interesting things in our area in Georgia where attorneys who are high conflict and high billing attorneys are now starting to market that they do amicable divorce because they've realized we're taking their cases and they're trying to pull back and get some clients and they don't. It's a misrepresentation. So unless you see our logo on their bio or their website or you find them on our website, they are not vetted. And I have had a handful of colleagues I guess you would say around here, you know, representing two potential clients oh, I can be amicable and maybe they can, but they haven't applied and we haven't vetted them, so you're just taking your chances there.

Karen Covy Host24:32

That's crazy. So I think because so many people come to me as a coach and they're saying how do I find a lawyer? How do I, you know? How do I know that what the lawyer tells me is what I'm going to get? Right, because it's such a complicated area and people often think they're getting one thing but they end up with another. So it sounds like and maybe I'm missing something, tell me if I'm wrong that the only way people can be sure if the lawyer that they're hiring is part of the amicable divorce network is to go to the amicable divorce network and look them up.

Tracy Moore-Grant Guest25:07

Absolutely. You can find our member database on It says member directory at the top. You can sort by state, you can sort by profession. However, you want to look at our members, we also have a website called, which is more for parties going through divorce. You'll see, the amicable divorce network content is more for professionals talking about you know legal issues and   that type of content, whereas divorce amicably is talking more to the parties going through divorce and you know parenting plans and mental health and different topics like that. The directory is on both websites. So either one that you go to you'll find it at the top, and if you can't find anybody and would like for us to help you out, you can always email [email protected] and we will do our absolute best. We have many professionals we have vetted for membership and approved who haven't moved forward with membership. So if we happen to have somebody that we have approved, we'll make that connection for you.

Karen Covy Host26:10

So, oh my goodness. So if somebody you know just playing devil's advocate, let's say I'm a divorce attorney, why would I join the amicable divorce network if I'm going to make less money if I do?

Tracy Moore-Grant Guest26:27

Because if you are one of the good actors in family law, you chose to be a divorce attorney because you actually wanted to help people. You didn't choose to do family law because it was going to bring in the big dollars, and you will find that. Well, we find that people who have good intentions, they just gravitate to our network like butterflies to a flame or moss to the flame.

Tracy Moore-Grant Guest26:56

They're like, oh my gosh, I found my people and it really is a more satisfying way to practice law and professionals enjoy it. Other professionals enjoy working with us because everybody is acting calm and respectfully, whereas in a contested litigation there's nasty emails flying back and forth. An emergency court date, there could be a deposition, all these things that are high stress, high costs, could be happening. Professionals, financial professionals, real estate they love working with us because everybody acts normal, I guess, and respectful, and so usually the right professionals, they fill out that application, they reach out, they've been referred by their colleagues and the wrong professionals are sending me nasty emails and speaking out against amicable divorce, which just sounds absolutely unhinged. But it's been really interesting and you know you've struck a nerve when you start making enemies, I guess.

Karen Covy Host27:56

You know before, we were kind of winding up. I want to be respectful of your time, but I also know that you've got a book out. Can you tell me more about that?

Tracy Moore-Grant Guest28:07

Yes, so it is just a chapter in a book, so I don't want to oversell it. But yes, so I wrote a book or a part of a book, and the title of it is Inspiring Women Purpose, Passion and Power in Professionalism if you can say that five times fast and it is on Amazon right now. And I wrote a chapter in it about why I founded the Amicable Divorce Network and its title Do No Harm. And it's an essay essentially on why it's important to know that doctors have a Hippocratic oath that they can do no harm and attorneys don't have that oath, and so it is just an essay on why I chose to leave high conflict family law and change the system so that it sort of complied it definitely did comply with my ethical code.

Karen Covy Host29:00

OK, so I can't leave that question just hanging out there. Why did you start the Amicable Divorce Network?

Tracy Moore-Grant Guest29:07

I just saw so many people getting taken advantage of, unfortunately, you know, as a mediator, you're a neutral person. You walk into a situation, you're there to help. You don't know anything about the case. But that's how we do things in Georgia, and I would see time and time again where clients were sitting with high conflict attorneys and they would be like we did not have the money for this case. We thought we had an uncontested divorce. We don't know what happened. We sat down and made this agreement and all these things happened to us, and you know.


So the very first motivating factor was how can I put all the people on a website so I can be like well, hire somebody off of this website if that's the experience that you truly want. And so that was the founding principle, I guess, so to speak. And then, second was really to create a system that helps people through divorce, so that they come out the other side of divorce, where everybody involved has been on their team for success, to help their children, to help them, to help their finances, because it's traumatic enough. And so how can we send people and children out into the world not so broken as the family law system leaves them?

Karen Covy Host30:22

Yeah, I think a lot of people to your point before that. You know you've never gone through a divorce before, you don't know what to expect. And especially people who are, you know, educated, who are in careers, who are in business. They come to the divorced court system and they're just appalled. It's not efficient, it's not effective. You're often doing the same thing multiple times, like, for instance, everyone's going to have to fill out some sort of financial affidavit, no matter what state you live in, and it gets outdated and you've got to do it again. And you've got to do it again and you've got. The longer the divorce goes on, the more times you have to update that. And it's time, it's work, it's energy, it's money and people are appalled by how inefficient the system is. And I have to say COVID hasn't helped.

Tracy Moore-Grant Guest31:11

Right, yeah, we have a judicial crisis in several states and it's fundamentally important for people to know that when you are doing an uncontested case, an amicable case, the parties are in control of that process.


They're in control of the decision making of the professionals they're hiring and how they are proceeding. They are making those decisions on how it is they want to behave and what it is they want to do. When you choose a court process, you are basically saying to the world we can't make decisions ourselves, and so we've decided this stranger, this judge, they should make decisions about our finances and our family, and we will just operate our life on their timeline at their leisure until they have time to make judgments about us. And so I don't think most people need that. I think they are fully capable adults of even working through tough issues. I think it's much harder as a professional to sit there in the trenches with your client and really help them through difficult issues by coming up with solutions and helping them through this process, as opposed to kicking the can off to the court and really deferring all judgment off to a judge. And so parties, for the most part, are entirely able, with just a little bit of help to get to the finish line themselves.

Karen Covy Host32:31

That's amazing. It's so interesting that you bring that up. I remember talking to a lawyer who took most of his cases to trial, or at least, if they settled, they settled on the eve of trial. So there was all the things that you mentioned. There was the churn, there was the expense, there was everything. And I had a conversation with him once because he fundamentally wasn't a bad human. It was just the way he practiced law was so antithetical to what I did and I said to him how can you do this to people? I'm just curious, like, what's your thought process? And it floored me and it's something that I don't think people realize. It's that, look, if I have to help my clients come to a settlement, if they ultimately, you know, aren't happy with the settlement, then it's on me. If I take them to trial and the judge decides I don't have to do anything, it's not my fault, the judge decided it. And that to me was a mind-blowing concept to offload professional responsibility onto a judge, because then, whatever happens, it's not your fault.

Tracy Moore-Grant Guest33:38

Yeah, you're not giving credit to your clients that they can make decisions themselves. And when you're doing that and you're also not equipping them with the tools and information and power to make decisions themselves, you're offering them one solution, which is we go to court. An attorney, when you meet with them, should offer multiple different avenues, different options, help you weigh them out and decide what's right for you.


Amicable divorce isn't right for everybody.


It is right for at least 80% of the population is what I think personally, and anybody looking at an uncontested or amicable divorce or the high asset cases that want to keep those private or addiction issues, mental health issues, special needs children I mean we have so many cases involving special needs children where we have to pause that timeline to have a child assess, let them adjust to a new school, whatever it is, and so they can focus on their child, and you just can't do that in the court system. So pick the right tool for your problem, I guess, and don't overpay for that process. But, Karen, I will provide to your listeners and you tell me how you want to get it to them. I have a checklist that people can take into a consult, and so on one side it has the information you should convey to the divorce professional, like your budget, and be very clear about that. And the second should be the questions that you are asking them, the right questions, in a consult so you can make a decision about who to work with.

Karen Covy Host35:09

That is wonderful, Tracy. Thank you so much for that, and what we'll do is, if you can get me a link to that, a URL, I will link to that in the show notes. People can go there. They can pick up these checklists, which I think would be so very valuable. So I just want to thank you for taking the time, thank you for explaining this and thank you for creating a process that didn't exist before, and I think that's something people really need to hear and appreciate. This came from a lot of hard work and a lot of dedication.


I think divorce lawyers in general get a bad rap sometimes, and some of it's well-deserved, depending on the person. Some of it may be not so much, but this just goes to show the world that all divorce lawyers are not shysters out to make money, out to destroy your family and take all of your assets. That's absolutely not true, and I think the professionals in the amicable divorce network are proof of that, and thank you for being one of them.

Tracy Moore-Grant Guest

You're welcome .

Karen Covy Host

So to all of our listeners. If you liked what you heard, if you want to see more of this, if you want to hear more of this, I encourage you. Please like, subscribe. Give the video a thumbs up. All of it matters and for sure, go check out the Amicable Divorce Network or Divorce Amicably, and I look forward to seeing you again in the next episode.         


amicable divorce, divorce lawyer, divorce process, divorce tips

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