In the summer of 1995, Dan Couvrette and I started dreaming of starting a new magazine: one that would help separated and divorced spouses make better decisions for themselves and for their families. The idea grew out of two divorces: Dan’s from his first wife, and my then-fiancé Greg’s from his first wife. When we first met, Greg had three young children (aged five, six, and seven), and I had no idea how to become a good stepmother – which included dealing with his ex-wife as well as his children.
We were desperate for information about everything from legal and financial issues to emotional recovery and stepparenting questions – and we figured we’d be in the same boat as a million other separated and divorced people.
Having both worked in magazine publishing for many years, Dan and I were shocked to discover that no one was providing a “one-stop shop” for people struggling with divorce. There were a handful of books, but each one only covered one topic: legal or emotional, financial or children’s issues. Since we couldn’t find what we needed on newsstands – and the Internet was still so new to consumers that there was nothing useful to be found there – we decided to create the magazine and website we needed to read.
The World’s First Divorce Magazine
On March 6, 1996, we published the first issue of Divorce Magazine. Since Greg was a computer programmer with an interest in the Internet, he created the first DivorceMagazine.com website – which was a whopping 12 pages long – at the same time. It was received with gratitude by the divorcing public – and with some outrage from people who had never actually seen a copy of the magazine, but who were sure we were encouraging people to leave their spouses for the “delights” of divorce.
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth: we have always encouraged people to try to save their marriage before deciding on divorce. Anyone who has been through a divorce knows that it is hard – emotionally, financially, and practically. This is not a decision to take lightly! But if ending your marriage is truly the right action, then there are bad ways and good ways to accomplish this goal. The bad ways will leave you and your family emotionally and financially bankrupt, and possibly damage your children for life. Our magazine and website were based on teaching couples how to go through the process without burning through their families’ resources fighting to the death over every issue – and, just as importantly, how to help themselves and their children recover emotionally after divorce.
Expert Advice and Support
During the last two decades, we have sought out experts who would not shame or blame readers, but rather offer helpful advice and tips to help them through what is one of the most challenging and stressful periods in anyone’s life. We found respected lawyers, mediators, judges, financial professionals, therapists, and parenting experts who would share their best advice with our readers.
Today, we continue to search out the best and the brightest in their fields to provide this guidance to our readers – both in the magazine and on our website. Recently, we have expanded our offerings to allow readers to support each other through our blog as well as through the wildly-popular divorce-related blogging site, DivorcedMoms.com. We invite you to visit both and check out the expert advice as well as blogs by separated and divorced people just like you.
Since we don’t believe in resting on our laurels, we launched Family Lawyer Magazine, a trade publication aimed at divorce professionals, in 2012. Today, we also offer 10 unique Divorce Guides, a monthly eNewsletter, as well as a family of divorce-related websites – including ChildrenAndDivorceGuide.com and MoneyAndDivorceGuide.com.
To help celebrate our 20th anniversary of serving this community, we’re launching The Divorce School on April 1st. This online learning center will allow visitors to watch videos and listen to podcasts about divorce-related issues – everything from child support and custody to legal and financial issues to infidelity and divorce recovery. (For more information, please see “The Divorce School Opens on April 1“.)
Social media has become an important tool for staying in touch with our readers – and reaching new readers as they start their divorce journeys. Our social media pages (including Facebook and Twitter) currently have 30,000 followers.
Towards Amicable Divorce
Two decades ago, the only divorce stories the media covered were extremely negative: “The Divorce from Hell” being a good example of the kind of headline you might find in your local magazine or newspaper. We are proud to have been part of the paradigm shift away from that toxic viewpoint towards civilized, amicable divorce that did not leave families emotionally and financially bankrupt.
Divorce Magazine’s mission has always been to have divorce be civilized, amicable, and transformational. We accomplish this mission by providing expert advice, quality information, and community support at no charge to those who are considering divorce, separated, or divorced. Twenty years ago, we started with a vision of a world where divorcing people could use the experience to grow as human beings, to support each other in co-parenting their children, and to end their marriages with kindness and compassion.
Although society has come a long way down this road in 20 years, we still have some distance to go before all divorces are like this. Until we get there, you can count on us to keep on helping to make the lives of divorcing individuals and their families better – both short- and long-term.