Can Happily Ever After Make Divorce Easier?
Marriage begets divorce. An event is trying to make it easier, if not inevitable. “It’s not the end, it’s the beginning,” is the motto for Happily Ever After, a local conference that serves those who are considering divorce, going through divorce, or are divorced.
The event was created by Divorcing Divas (DD), an organization founded and run by marketing consultant and author Christine Clifford (twice-divorced herself), in 2009. October 26 marks the fifth annual conference, which features speakers that range from divorce attorneys, to financial planners, couples mediators, and real estate gurus. Topics vary from the informative (“Building a strong foundation for your real estate challenges”) to the personal (“Forgive them? Are you kidding?”) to the forward-looking (“Wired for love: a guide to Internet dating”).
One of the keynote speakers will be Anne Tressler, family law attorney from the event’s platinum sponsor, Tressler Law.
Tressler says marketing divorce law can be tricky because it’s such a delicate issue. Her firm mainly uses radio ads and search engine optimization. Thus, “Happily Ever After is a great way to reach out, as you have such a captive and motivated audience.” Amber Serwat, a couples mediator, notes that “most of my marketing is word-of-mouth and referrals from attorneys and former clients, so this is a rare opportunity for me to reach my client base when they feel they can be open about the topic.”
Although divorce is still a sensitive issue, the industry and how people view it is changing. “Divorce doesn’t carry the same stigma it once had,” says Clifford. “People today don’t feel the shame and embarrassment they did.”
The whole arrangement is simpler in many cases. “More couples are taking amiable mediation over adversarial court-room battles,” says Tressler. “People are more willing to give up a little faster.”
While Serwat agrees the process is becoming more open and less antagonistic, she doesn’t believe couples have developed a hair-trigger approach to divorce. “Most of us, we get married and we think it’s going to be a lifetime, and when it unravels, it’s difficult for both men and women; it’s not a decision made easily.”