By REBECA KUROPATWA
With the staggering statistic of 40 percent of Canadian marriages today ending in divorce, a group of long-time friends – Marni Sky, Mara Marcello, and Shari Wagman – launched Divorce Angels in Toronto in January 2016, drawing on their own personal experiences to create a support network, helping those going through divorce.
The three women had goals of lightening the load, getting people connected, and enabling people getting divorced to make the right choices as they move through the transition of divorce with greater ease, clarity of mind, and confidence.
Now that the company is established in Toronto, they have set their sights on the rest of Canada – including Winnipeg.
In Winnipeg, Divorce Angels have tapped Amy Weizman (39) to lead the company locally.
Weizman was born and raised in Winnipeg. She attended Ramah Hebrew School and Joseph Wolinsky Collegiate. She is also the granddaughter of well known Rabbi Peretz Weizman, who currently lives in Toronto.
Weizman moved to Toronto 16 years ago to pursue a career in advertising and marketing. She has since managed the advertising for several large companies, including General Motors Canada, Ferrero Rocher, and the Royal Canadian Mint.
“I am very excited to now be working for Divorce Angels as the head of business development,” wrote Weizman in an email. “I am very excited to spearhead the Winnipeg launch, since I obviously have a personal interest in seeing Winnipeg professionals gain as much exposure as they can. And, I’m excited to include Winnipeg in the mix of the other cities we’re hitting – Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver.
“While I’m not personally divorced (I am happily married to a Jewish Toronto lawyer and we have three young children [Jack, Max, and Emma] who attend Bialik Hebrew Day School.), I have unfortunately already seen some close friends go through it at a young age – and, statistics show, it will sadly continue to rise.”
Weizman was a natural choice for Winnipeg, as she has many roots here and is well connected, visiting Winnipeg often, as she still has close family here.
According to Weizman, 40 percent of Canadian marriages will end in divorce. There were just over 70,000 divorces last year. First marriages that end in divorce are at 33 percent, while 16 percent of people divorce more than once.
There is an increase in the number of people over the age of 50 getting divorced, a phenomenon known as “Grey Divorce.” The day of the year when lawyers and other divorce professionals see a surge of calls regarding divorce is the first Monday after the Christmas holidays.
With divorce statistics being at an all-time high and affecting people predominantly in the ages 30-to-70, divorce is an unfortunate modern reality. And, infidelity is high, as cheating and connecting have become much easier with technology at our fingertips.
“There are many marketplace sites for people getting married and having babies, but nothing available for people going through divorce,” said Weizman. “People search online for everything these days. Divorce is no different.”
Divorce Angels is an online support network that helps people navigate through their divorces. The site approaches divorce from a holistic perspective – from the practical, to the emotional, and beyond.
The website provides visitors with recommendations to a list of professionals with a proven track record for success.
Currently, there are over 300 professionals on the site from a wide array of fields that support the divorce process, including family lawyers, financial planners, mediators, business valuators, real estate agents, coaches, therapist, matchmakers, personal trainers, private investigators, break-up coaches, and more.
Beyond the list of professionals, one is also able to join a conversation in a forum, so people do not feel like they are alone or without people who can truly understand.
Through compelling blogs, live chats, and relevant events, the site is a destination for shell-shocked people looking to connect with others struggling through the heartaches, anger, and fear that come with the divorce process.
“The Divorce Angels site is also loaded with resources, information, and events,” said Weizman. “Some of the professionals offer savings on their services to ease the financial burden.
“We hire sales professionals that enforce the brand pillars of divorce angels – trusted, caring, empathetic, and inspiring. We match them to markets where they’re connected and that are appropriate for their demeanour, style, and approach.”
Divorce Angels’ expansion plans include the major cities in Canada first, before further expansion into the U.S. and, eventually, all over the world.
“We do not advocate for divorce, but we are here to assist in times of need by streamlining the process for you,” said Weizman. “We look at divorce in a holistic manner, in that it affects both the practical and emotional nature of your life.
“We try to help propel you forward by inspiring you. On the other side lies a different, but transformative life. Your divorce can take you out of your comfort zone, but can also help you