When entrepreneurial couple Sara and Josh Margulis launched their honeymoon registry Honeyfund 10 years ago, they never thought they would get into the divorce business.
It wasn’t until a conversation last year with media mogul Arianna Huffington that they got the idea to add a divorce registry to their new crowdfunding platform, Plumfund.
Huffington told them about the success of Huffington Post Divorce (yes, the Huffington Post has an entire section dedicated to articles about divorce), and she asked the two founders whether they were doing anything divorce-related on Plumfund. In a departure from their core brand Honeyfund, which receives about 4 million unique visitors per month, Sara and Josh decided to add a “divorce” category to Plumfund.
The divorce category launched this March, and there are currently 114 active divorce registries on the site. The registry allows people going through a divorce or their friends and family to raise money for expenses such as new furniture, legal fees and child custody. Sara understood the need for such a fund when she saw a close friend go through a bitter divorce and custody battle that left her financially depleted.
“Because divorce is considered such a shaming time in life, it’s a time when people tend to draw in and not really ask for help,” Sara says. “This is a way for someone close to a divorcée to say, ‘We’re going to rally around you and support you.’ It doesn’t have to be taboo.”
Indeed, divorce seems to carry less of a stigma lately thanks to divorce selfies, in which couples post joyful shots of themselves on social media to commemorate their split, and divorce parties, where a newly single person either throws or is thrown a party to celebrate the end of their marriage.
Crowdfunding competitors such as Indiegogo and GoFundMe do not have a section dedicated solely to divorce, and investor and Shark Tank reality TV star Kevin O’Leary sees this market as a huge business opportunity.
“You want to be supported through that process – not only emotionally but financially,” says O’Leary, who is a Plumfund investor. “The responsible monetization of divorce is absolutely important because 50% of marriages end in failure. I can’t wait to start promoting it – I think it’s going to be huge.”