By Alex Gallagher
Divorce can oftentimes be one of the worst experiences of a lifetime — and Amy Bloomberg Corben and Sheri Heitner-Anderson are all too familiar with that.
Corben and Heitner-Anderson maintained their strong friendship by volunteering at nonprofit events and bonding over their children, who attended the same preschool.
But their divorces brought them closer together and gave them the idea for Unυ tied — a consulting firm that helps people through the bureaucratic and overwhelming process of breaking up.
“There are a lot of different ways to get divorced — like filing for legal separation or meeting with a mediator to create a parenting agreement,” Heitner-Anderson says. “We want to make sure our clients know that no divorce is the same.”
Corben explains, “One of the things that resonated with me was that I was finding it hard to function with the experience and the reason for our divorce.
“I was running a business and my home, taking care of my children, dealing with letting my loved ones know what was happening and to be provided a list from my attorney while constantly contacting the attorney started to add up.”
Corben searched for available resources to help guide someone through the daunting process. She could not find anything.
“There was nothing out there to hold my hand and guide me through one of the worst times of my life,” she says.
Corben saw a need for a business that offered individuals guidance and held their hands through a challenging time.
“I had thought of doing something just like this but when Amy suggested it, she pushed me to make a decision,” Heitner-Anderson says.
With the business model in mind, the two reached out to family law attorneys to decipher ways that they could help couples who were divorcing and the lawyers representing them.
“Before we formalized our decision to create this company, we met with some well-known family law attorneys to find out how we could help them and what made their job more difficult,” Heitner-Anderson said.
Their biggest needs: “organization and timeline and having access to additional experts.”
Corben and Heitner-Anderson compiled a referral list with 30 categories of professions, such as family law attorneys, mediators, business attorneys, CPAs, forensic accountants and financial experts.
The duo assesses clients before creating a proposal. The process begins with a consultation and questionnaire followed by a two-hour intake session to find out the length of the marriage, what assets they had and what is at stake.
From there, Heitner-Anderson and Corben help guide the way through untying the knot.
“We’re going to help clients become better organized and prepared for when they do meet with their attorneys,” Corben says. “There are many documents like financial statements, copies of tax returns, credit card statements and statements up to their will and trust.”
The documents can be a nightmare to track down, download and view.
“We will go to our clients and sit down to aid in downloading documents and be someone that makes things a little bit easier,” Heitner-Anderson says.
Selecting an attorney is the most important part of the process and the women help with that as well.
“I think it is important when selecting an attorney that you know how you want to proceed,” Heitner-Anderson says. “There’s probably no one else who knows your soon to be ex-spouse’s personality and behavior better than you do. It’s hard when you rely on an attorney to just go after it.”
Heitner-Anderson says the longer the marriage lasts, the tougher it is to untie.
“When it comes to dividing money, that’s when things are not so pretty and not so fun,” Heitner-Anderson says.
Because of this, the two feel that their business serves as a lifeline for those going through this hardship.
“When you have someone that can help lead the way, everyday gets less and less scary,” Heitner-Anderson says.
Above all, they want to show individuals the ways they can navigate the dark times.
“I think a lot of people don’t really know what they don’t know,” Heitner-Anderson says. “We say that we wish we would’ve had someone like us that we could call and talk through things that would not be an absorbent cost.”
Corben adds, “I want people to know that they’re not alone and we want our clients to feel comfortable with us knowing that we have their best interests at heart. Life is not over because you’re getting divorced.”