Please review our website - Divorce Actually.

Discussion in 'Website Reviews & Testing' started by Drinkwater2, Feb 12, 2021.

  1. Drinkwater2

    Drinkwater2 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    62 4
    Yes, I thought I was getting ahead of myself trying to do that "quotey" thing. I'll try
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2021 By: Drinkwater2 Member since: Dec 24, 2017
    #41
  2. Drinkwater2

    Drinkwater2 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    62 4
    Not got too much time for reading at the moment, I'm spending all day typing replies on here.
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2021 By: Drinkwater2 Member since: Dec 24, 2017
    #42
  3. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! { Moderator }

    34,229 10,156
    Move the form to the homepage. Remove all references to buyer and seller. Get rid of the login and the ‘cart’.

    Pay for data so there are results to see.

    test different form structures.
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2021 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #43
  4. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! { Moderator }

    34,229 10,156
    Everything leads back to your marketing plan. Until you have this sorted you can't build a website. The marketing plan will shape the whole website.

    One could argue you may need two websites - one to get the sellers onboard to upload their documents and then a rebuild so you can market to buyers. Right now it's neither.
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2021 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #44
  5. Drinkwater2

    Drinkwater2 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    62 4
    I agree but it would be very costly. We need a range of cases to make a search return useful results. If the least someone receives is £71.50 this implies that they spent £7150 on legal fees. Between them and there partner they spent around £15,000. This goes all the way up to £444 with the same maths. If we were offering them their first payment upfront on the house, then take the mean figure at about £260 x 500 = £130,000. Not a King's ransom, but enough.

    100% agree that we need to gain trust and credibility, as do all new businesses. There isn't actually a financial risk for the seller as their entry into the database is free and the paperwork their sitting looking at is totally worthless unless they take a leap of faith. Agree that a buyer is parting with hard cash but we'd be happy for them to start a narrative with us if they had a specific issue and we could point them in the direction of useful documents.

    As just stated, we don't expect the thing to just run itself and are happy to invest time making sure both buyer and seller are happy.

    As Fagin2021 has already pointed out, we do have a rather large set of T & C's which we maybe need to condense. One thing we won't be taking out is the line that says "Nothing on this website should be construed or treated as legal advice."

    We are prepared to listen for sure, whether it's possible to shift is another thing. From the film with a not totally dis-similar name to our website, "I'll give you anything you ask for - as long as it's not something I don't want to give."
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2021 By: Drinkwater2 Member since: Dec 24, 2017
    #45
  6. Chawton

    Chawton UKBF Regular Free Member

    177 80
    Respectful question, but whats with this percentage payment metric you seem wedded to? It's entirely self-imposed; it's not like its an industry standard because no such industry exists.

    In the first instance you just need to populate the database. Pay what it takes to do that.

    You have complete freedom as to how. You can iterate from there afterwards with whatever payment scheme you chose to employ. The "seller" has already paid for their divorce so it's a complete sunk cost. They're not thinking of 'when' they can recoup it on a percentage basis via your service because no such mindset exists. Whatever they get for their settlement document is a bonus (if they're inclined to monetise it).

    Before that though you really need to assess demand. Where it lies, if it lies anywhere at all, and what they'll pay (not what you think should be paid).

    My sense is that because the degree of discretion in divorce courts is quite wide, the 'precedent' value contained within individual financial settlements is diminished. It's essentially the day-to-day case knowledge the divorce lawyer is supposed to have between their ears. That might go to it's lack of proposition value in that context.

    Conversely a couple attempting to be reasonable and avoid legal dispute (but also suffering from a lack of legal 'expertise') might be willing to pay something towards a few practical, real world 'pointers'.
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2021 By: Chawton Member since: Mar 21, 2018
    #46
  7. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Legend Full Member

    11,000 4,710
    This!

    Hee's my 30 cents on the whole plan -

    I can't see anyone paying £70 to look at a settlement document. You say yourself that every divorce is different, so why should I look at a whole host of documents that will have little or nothing to do with my circumstances?

    As the number-one reason for divorce is financial problems, these poor saps just do not have the money to throw around at looking at someone else's settlement. You can't pick-pocket a naked man!

    OK, so the average contested divorce costs about £15k per side, but these numpties are going to fight tooth-and-claw over every stick of garden furniture. Sensible people sit out the two years and sit down and discuss who gets what.

    So that just leaves a small grey area where they want to settle but need guidance. A shuftie at some previous settlements might prove useful - so how many do we need to look at before we decide? Twenty? Thirty? More?

    At £70 a pop - that's beginning to look like stupid money! One or the other party will come to their senses and say "Not with my money, you don't!"

    Quite honestly, I would not pay £1 to look at a pile of irrelevant documents.

    Sorry to have to be so blunt, but because I cannot see a direct and immediate benefit to any person contemplating divorce, I do not think that this turkey can fly.
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2021 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
    #47
  8. Drinkwater2

    Drinkwater2 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    62 4
    I get this if I'm trying to compete in an already established market place. i.e. I want to design a new dating website that has features the others have all either over-looked or not bothered with. But when the concept is new, and particularly in this case, what questions do you ask your target market? Would you like to make an income from your knowledge of the divorce process? Would you think it's helpful to see how others settled their differences for a fraction of the price you'll spend arguing through solicitors?

    From the initial comments in this thread, we understand and accept we need to take another look at the wording. As previously mentioned, it is a new concept and keeping the message short and snappy without introducing ambiguity isn't straight-forward.

    If you're talking about a cross-section of the general public finding the Site without anything drawing fresh divorcees to the Site I suspect you're right, possibly light. By my calculations, people in the age band most likely to divorce, between 30 and 55, about 1 in 1000 have got divorced in the last 3 months so I'd need 100% conversion rate to do it.

    Agreed and I'm working on it.
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2021 By: Drinkwater2 Member since: Dec 24, 2017
    #48
  9. Drinkwater2

    Drinkwater2 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    62 4
    I agree with everything you've said, apart from the bit where you agreed with everyone else about everything negative that's been said about the Site! :)

    I'm sure solicitors will try and dismiss past cases, no matter how similar, as irrelevant or not applicable. They try and muddy the waters, instil as much fear and uncertainty as possible so you clutch at their apron strings tightly all the way to an enormous bill. But they are acting for the client and if the client says, "I'm prepared to make a reasonable offer in line with these 2 previous cases and if rejected I want to make an application for costs," their solicitor has to act on their instructions. We're trying to give people an insight into a process they would otherwise be completely lost in.

    I've always thought it would make an interesting "Despatches" program if you sent a bloke into one solicitor and he filled out his Form E which had some interesting features in it and the female actress did the same with her solicitor. We then watched the argy-bargy ensue resulting in a sizeable bill. When it's all resolved, you give it a week and then reverse the roles sending a different actress to his solicitor and a different actor to her solicitor. They then paint an almost identical picture with the Form E's and the story.

    I wonder if the first words out of the solicitors mouths would be "I'll tell you what, this is your lucky week. Just a couple of weeks ago I had an almost identical case, I can tell you exactly how this should pan out. Let's get an offer off to them right away and hopefully get this concluded within a month."

    Regarding your question about anonymous references or testimonials being somewhat obscure, "yes" it is a valid point but we could always use their document number as the reference that people can look at in the database. If we can get to that point I think we will have cracked it and word-of-mouth will be on our side. When Friends Reunited started, word-of-mouth got them to 96,000 new users in a day at £5 each. They then started getting editorial coverage in newspapers.
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2021 By: Drinkwater2 Member since: Dec 24, 2017
    #49
  10. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! { Moderator }

    34,229 10,156
    But none of this is relevant without a marketing plan. How are you going to tell divorcees about the service? How are you then going to convince then it’s a good idea to upload the document with the promise of jam tomorrow?
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2021 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #50
  11. Drinkwater2

    Drinkwater2 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    62 4
    I love your positivity.

    Thanks for the suggestion and the thought behind it. I've got to be honest, I think every solicitor in the land will want this and any other website along these lines, dead in the water as quickly as possible. Turkeys don't vote for Christmas.

    A friend of mine was playing golf at a charity event in Yorkshire a number of years ago and he stood listening to a retired Judge at the bar after the game. The Judge said that a very significant proportion of private civil law firms income came from divorce. After all, you don't have a boundary dispute with someone every other day.

    I'm sure there's a proper name for it, but I call it the "Ryanair principle." You look at an industry and see if there's an easy low hanging plum sitting in it, as Ryanair did with European short haul flights. Ask them to take you to Hong Kong and they're not interested.

    To my mind divorce is this in the legal game. It's common, lucrative and highly repetitious and solicitors will want to keep it all for themselves.
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2021 By: Drinkwater2 Member since: Dec 24, 2017
    #51
  12. Financial-Modeller

    Financial-Modeller UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    996 381
    This feels like it should be either:
    • a not-for-profit or free service - at least until there is a suitable library of documents for users to access, or
    • an enterprise, but funded suitably to partner with solicitors to purchase settlement details in bulk
    I'm not convinced of the value of the documents purchased though. Other than evidencing anecdotes that will be quickly be dismissed by the other side if sufficiently competent?
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2021 By: Financial-Modeller Member since: Jul 3, 2012
    #52
  13. Drinkwater2

    Drinkwater2 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    62 4
    As I think I've already said, I dread to think of the cost of a website that would satisfy solicitors.

    I can only speak from my experience, but everyone I know has felt the eventual settlement was little more than common sense. If they made a movie of the divorce settlement negotiations the ending would be an anti-climax.

    Agreed. If both parties are determined to blow each other out of the water come what may and neither party is minded to negotiate, past cases are of no use or interest whatsever.

    Strongly agree and in one of the previous website wording incarnations we made exactly that point. I think they could be very helpful to satisfy both parties that the settlement suggested by a mediator was in-line with past cases. For one of them to walk away wondering if the mediator was having a bad day and maybe they'd been sold short is not good for the "whole family" well-being factor going forward, particularly if they're planning on sitting at the same table for future 21st birthday parties and weddings.

    As mentioned, I think they're only interested in their hourly rate being multiplied by as many hours as possible.

    Can someone point me in the direction of a website that would if modified would be ideal for this project so that I can have a look?
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2021 By: Drinkwater2 Member since: Dec 24, 2017
    #53
  14. Drinkwater2

    Drinkwater2 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    62 4
    Historically I'm sure that in the vast majority of cases the husband has walked away with less than 50% of the pot because his future earning potential was greater, but that in itself doesn't make the system biased. As has been said a long time ago in this thread, we are not trying to give someone a method of selling their partner out cheap, we are trying to make the process of reaching a fair settlement quick and cost effective. My understanding is that Judge's are desperately keen to be seen to have ruled fairly or their judgement could be set aside and the whole process starts again with an appeal. This is something they want to avoid at all costs as the already hammered family pot will get another bashing.

    I don't know of any examples where the husband has been really caned. The cases I know, the settlement has been based on common sense and workability and the blokes have come out smiling because they were expecting to get fleeced.

    Obviously your experience and knowledge is different to mine.

     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2021 By: Drinkwater2 Member since: Dec 24, 2017
    #54
  15. Drinkwater2

    Drinkwater2 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    62 4
    They don't have to buy countless documents in the hope of finding something useful in the financial agreement. They enter their details, age, length of marriage etc in the search criteria. (We are going to get the search improved so they can put ranges in as well such as equity in marital home.) They then search and get 5 (?) results that match their search input. They can then look at the Form E finances for him and her. If they see something that truly mirrors their own situation they have the option to buy it. It's not lucky dip.

    The lower the nett family worth is, the more debateable the point of using the Site is. But when someone is, to use your figure, about to do £30k between them, a few hundred quid to look at one with slightly higher nett worth and one slightly lower could save them a lot of money. Of the people I know and have spoken to, who have done decent amounts of cash in legal fees, they've all said "I wish that had been around when I was going through mine." Crikey, that almost sounds like market research!
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2021 By: Drinkwater2 Member since: Dec 24, 2017
    #55
  16. Chawton

    Chawton UKBF Regular Free Member

    177 80
    At it's core it actually has quite a noble aim tbf. Without doubt the traditional service is a highly lucrative, money-for-old rope model that most lawyers would struggle to justify.

    Fairly large sums for dry legal documents of questionable value still feels like a hard sell though. Small user fees for access to tabulated data might be some sort of pivot.

    In any event if you do decide to go ahead with it best of luck. Find out who your end user is, talk to them, keep talking to them and when you're not talking to them, keep them in mind at all times.
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2021 By: Chawton Member since: Mar 21, 2018
    #56
  17. Fagin2021

    Fagin2021 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    76 26
    "There's not enough work in this town for one lawyer - but there's plenty for two."
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2021 By: Fagin2021 Member since: Jan 27, 2021
    #57
  18. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! { Moderator }

    34,229 10,156
    Great! But how do you plan to market the product? No matter how good the product unless your target customer knows you exists it won’t ever sell. You could have the best website and tons of documents in the DB but it all comes back to marketing.

    What is your marketing plan?
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2021 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #58
  19. Drinkwater2

    Drinkwater2 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    62 4
    Just checking some numbers but am thinking when COVID restrictions are over paying students to stand outside Family Courts with a sandwich board on that says "Not sure how you're going to pay for your next holiday in Mauritius? Turn you divorce experience into a lucrative income stream. Call 07765 ?????? or visit www.divorceactually.co.uk to find out more.

    Shouldn't take too long to expose the website to 500 divorcing couples in the last throws of the process either at an FDR or Final Hearing.

    A little bit like those guys from Innocent did with their smoothies on Camden Market. "Should we give up our day job? Please try our smoothies and let us know." Didn't seem to do them much harm.
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2021 By: Drinkwater2 Member since: Dec 24, 2017
    #59
  20. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Legend Full Member

    11,000 4,710
    £30k on beagles - those are the people who fight over the garden furniture!

    I once had to spend £12k on lawyers and it was a long and complicated process in which we stood to gain a great deal. So on that rare occasion, it was worth it!

    There are or were eight lawyers in my family, ranging from corporate beagles to the chairman of the German supreme court - and they were nearly all idiots! The day I spend £30k on lawyers is the day hell freezes over!

    But you are right in that when a couple is fighting over the lawnmower and the family silver and they walk through a lawyer's front door, all the lawyer sees is money-on-the-hoof.

    I just think £70 to look at someone else's settlement is too steep. There must be a 'softer' way to ease money out of people's pockets! Or perhaps a completely different business model.
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2021 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
    #60