The 25- to 35-year-old technology focused generation has a far more elastic definition of the concept of “forever.” Courtesy: Thinkstock.
Silicon Beach Tech Entrepreneurs Bring Innovation to Marriage and Divorce
by Michael Wallerstein
Like the social media that so rule their lives, millennials in Los Angeles are increasingly finding that their marriage is all here and now — rather than here and forever. The 25- to 35-year-old technology focused generation has a far more elastic definition of the concept of “forever,” with terms like “starter” marriage, “beta” marriage or “test” marriage working their way into the vernacular.
In Silicon Beach, the Westside enclave that has launched dozens of successful startups and where disruptive technology is considered a virtue, tech has also helped shatter the limitations of what’s left of the status quo when it comes to unraveling their marriage. Tech entrepreneurs, used to efficient processes are disrupting the traditionally patient divorce process in favor of a fast and competent dissolution of their marriage.
New technology has made the divorce process much easier by empowering individuals with information once accessible only by attorneys.
There is now an app that can accurately calculate what a court the amount of spousal support one party will pay the other and for how long. Based on a court-approved formula, the CFLR DissoMaster app can calculate spousal support payments based on the parties’ relative incomes and expenses. Calculating spousal support payments is one of the larger and more important issues in a divorce and finding and agreeing on the amount without having to go to court saves the parties both time and money.
Real estate values are available on numerous websites, and the equity in a marital home derived from the marriage can be quickly estimated. The largest asset of the marriage and its value can be viewed on websites like Zillow.com. Though a formal appraisal of the house is likely to be necessary, informal appraisals like Zillow’s Zestimate are often cited in settlement negotiations and are indeed fairly helpful in reaching a settlement.
Marital income statements, 401k contributions, investment appreciation as well as expenses are easily accessed and downloaded online. The often laborious and time-consuming task of obtaining financial records is now effortlessly done online by accessing your account, downloading statements and emailing them to whoever is requesting them.
Facebook messaging and email are among new creative ways to serve divorce papers and court orders on unresponsive ex-spouses.
Creativity is what fuels this city, and thankfully our tank is always full. That may be why Prenuptial Agreements requested by LA millennials focus not on spousal support and inheritance but on intellectual property such as films, songs, screenplays, software, apps, and even ideas for technology concepts yet to be executed.
The recent report that a growing number of millennials are signing prenuptial agreements to divide their intellectual property in advance is unsurprising. For the tech entrepreneurs in Silicon Beach, a need has developed to protect “ideas” conceived by either a bride or groom who see him or herself as the next Mark Zuckerberg or Evan Spiegel. In the event of a divorce, these couples want protection for what may be each person’s most valuable asset – the product of their intellect or invention.
LA innovators are constantly reimagining lifestyle, cars, medicine, fashion, and art. For better or worse, the disruption brought by tech innovators has no limits, and the ancient practices of marriage and divorce are not impervious to the city’s growing appetite for reinvention.