Storey Jones ’85 wants to disrupt the way people get divorced.
For decades, those seeking a divorce have followed a well-worn path. They’ve spent hours compiling documents, arrived at an attorney’s office with the paperwork — and maybe a few tears — and then paid the attorney between $200 to $850 an hour to organize it all. “It’s an antiquated process,” says Jones, “that needed to be modernized.”
Jones has done just that. In January of 2018, she launched dtour.life, the first Software as a Service (SaaS) divorce-management platform for both couples and divorce professionals. Spouses upload their documents (including assets, debts, and living expenses) onto the platform. Everyone involved has access to the documents, and each user has a dashboard to manage the information. “I call it the digital backbone of the divorce process,” Jones says.
Jones hopes that creating an efficient digital workflow will alleviate some of the trauma and stress of divorce, but she believes that people also need a greater understanding of the process. So, dtour.life includes a “Knowledge Center,” where divorcing partners can find articles on everything from how to interview an attorney to creating a post-divorce parenting plan. “I want to provide clarity, efficiency, and information, because if people have a compass to navigate this, they feel more empowered,” she says.
The platform grew out of Jones’s own experience. In 2003, she went through a high-conflict divorce from a tech entrepreneur in San Francisco and lost everything, including her house, savings, and retirement accounts. The ordeal, however, gave her a mission. She started Lemon Tree Advisors and worked for 12 years as a consultant to men and women going through divorce. “My favorite thing in the world is to meet people at the start of what I know is a tough road and demystify for them what is about to unfold,” says Jones, who was an English major at Colgate.
Through her work, Jones quickly realized that the $50-billion-a-year divorce industry was ripe for transformation. “I would pull my hair out at the inefficiency and lack of humanity in the process,” she says. In 2015, she moved to New York with her teenaged son and began work on a platform to streamline divorce — and save money at a time when families need it most. She estimates that dtour.life — which has a monthly charge of $19 for spouses and $50 for legal professionals — will save families thousands of dollars in fees.
It also drags divorce into the 21st century. “You can do all your banking on the internet. You can find a date on the internet,” Jones says. “Why not understand and prepare for divorce? This is a huge industry.”
Jones raised $1 million from angel investors to launch dtour.life and has worked hard to market it. The platform is now available to the 4 million people who have access to LifeMart through their employers. In February, the platform was featured in the Startup Alley of the American Bar Association’s Techshow in Chicago. Her work has also been highlighted in Forbes.com and USA Today recently.
Although Jones has encountered resistance from some attorneys — who, she says, tend to resist change — millennial lawyers have embraced her new technology. “It’s been a process,” Jones admits. “But we’re changing a whole culture. It’s going to take time.”