Updated March 30, 2021
OurDivorce.com: How did this happen?
From The Experts
If you’re looking for a self-aggrandizing story written by – or ghost-written for – an entrepreneur that is obviously meant to exaggerate their rags to riches story, their unmatched business acumen, or both, you’ve come to the wrong place and you should probably stop reading now. But if you’re looking for an honest account of a normal sales guy that got screwed by life and happened to have a good idea, then read on.
The story begins in April 2002 when – after an 18-month process that cost me over $27,000 in legal fees ($39,000 in 2021 dollars) – my divorce decree was finally signed by a judge and my 9 ½ year marriage was over.
I was naive enough to believe that a signed decree meant the end of the divorce process, when in reality, it’s only the beginning. The legal fees, arguments over money, and disagreements about the children didn’t magically end with the Judge’s signature. But most of all, it was naive to think the money I’d paid my attorney to “win” against my ex was worth spending.
Spoiler alert: It wasn’t.
When I remarried later that year, I vowed to learn from the mistakes I’d made during my first marriage that contributed to the divorce.
For fifteen years, my second wife and I led a charmed life. Our four sons became inseparable. Our careers took off. We were in love. Nothing could stop us!
Another spoiler alert: Something stopped us.
In February 2017, I discovered that she’d been having an affair with a coworker for over six months. To this day, she claims to not understand her motivation for her affair, but swears it was purely physical and that she never loved him.
With her promise that she would cut off all contact, it took only a few minutes for me to make the decision to forgive. And with that, we both recommitted ourselves to our marriage.
At least I thought we did.
In the Fall of 2019, she began spending more and more time on Zoom calls with a different male coworker who lived 1800 miles away.
After several days of Zoom calls with her new friend that went well past the end of the work day, I asked if there was any reason for me to be jealous – a reasonable query given her past behavior. Instead of blowing it off, or reassuring me, she accused me of being controlling and told me that she was sick of me “choosing her friends”.
This is when I learned that she resented me for demanding that she cut off her friendship with her first extramarital lover in order to save our marriage. Incidentally, this is also how I learned that her first affair was NOT just physical.
Despite all of the stand-off behavior and what was clearly becoming her second extramarital affair, I tried desperately to save the marriage and begged her to end her new “friendship” before it was too late.
What a simp!
She asked for space to think. So I checked into room 116 of the Ramada Inn hoping a separation would show her that I was willing to do whatever it took to save the marriage.
It didn’t work.
In fact, during my stay at the hotel, her “friendship” blossomed and I realized that the chances of saving my marriage were next to zero.
Since I’d failed to save the marriage, I vowed to make this second divorce as painless as possible.
I spent several nights in the hotel drafting a plan to make that vow a reality. The end result was a 12-page plan that, if followed, guaranteed us a simple and friendly divorce. By following the plan, we were able to file our divorce paperwork in just a few days instead of weeks, months, or even years – and it cost us almost nothing.
An attorney friend at the time said, “Tom, if you could package your plan up for others to use, you could change the entire divorce process.”
And the idea for OurDivorce.com was born.
Over the next year, my team converted my 12-page plan into the most comprehensive online divorce process ever conceived of. And we’re just getting started.
Having done it twice, I wouldn’t wish divorce on my worst enemy. But since divorce isn’t going away, we might as well make it less painful.