7th February 2017

Amicable Divorce App

Only 30 years ago, virtually no one owned a mobile phone and yet now a mobile app promises to help you to divorce and save thousands of pounds in legal fees. But will this app really change the way the world divorces, or is it too good to be true?

If all couples who separate were amicable and if any bitterness was really the result of the involvement of lawyers, then this app might well be the answer to divorcees’ prayers. However, the reality is that any bitterness in all likelihood existed from the moment one spouse decided the marriage was over and a good family lawyer should help a couple begin to see past any animosity in order to work to achieve the best possible solution for the family.

Divorces, like families, are rarely suitable for a “one size fits all” approach. It is hard to see, for example, how this app could help a couple who have separated because of domestic violence or abuse, as inevitably the stronger spouse will dominate the process, leaving the weaker spouse without the support of an expert lawyer who, among other things, often acts as a buffer in a difficult process.

On the face of it, this app could be useful as a forum for discussions between spouses or as a means of obtaining general family law advice. However, is this really ground breaking? I would suggest not, as amicable couples commonly use their phones to communicate via text and email in any event and the internet is now bursting with legal advice, both accurate and inaccurate.

It is claimed this app can save you money but what is commonly overlooked by those trying to keep divorce costs down, is that they may sell themselves short by relying on the type of generalised advice which an app can provide. For example, the internet may correctly state that the basic principle for dividing capital on divorce is 50/50 without explaining why, in many cases, such a division is not appropriate. It is important to remember that you only get one shot at securing your future and so what you may save in legal fees by using a mobile app may pale in comparison to the cost of lost capital or maintenance.

Although the technological world is advancing at a staggering rate and whilst I run the risk of sounding like a dinosaur, there are still some matters in life which benefit from the human touch. Therefore, my advice to those couples genuinely wishing to achieve an amicable divorce is to use their mobile phones to look up good family lawyers who offer mediation or collaborative law, both of which provide a supported way of separating in order to preserve goodwill whilst the couple make informed decisions.

Lora Grogan

Lora Grogan
Senior Paralegal