Divorce can be a difficult process, particularly if a couple has children or significant assets to fight over and no established agreement for how to divide those assets. As with many things in life, a little planning can go a long way toward making the divorce process easier to navigate. Early planning for divorce can help ensure that a party has a firm handle on the issues that will come up in the divorce and a plan for protecting and representing his or her rights and interests in court.
There have been several different divorce apps that have hit the market in recent years, which are designed to help couples navigate the divorce process more amicably and with less expense. Such apps can be useful in some aspects of divorce planning. However, it’s important not to assume that a one-size-fits-all digital legal guide can take the place of real legal representation from a lawyer in your state.
Proceed with caution
From the perspective of an experienced family law attorney, consumers should be cautious about products that claim to allow couples to cut out the attorney or to reduce legal expenses. This advice may seem obvious coming from a family law attorney, but there is a risk in believing that you can handle important legal matters without professional help – or even that you can reduce your dependence on an attorney.
The problem is that this sort of do-it-yourself thinking can lead consumers to believe that navigating the legal system is a simple matter, and that attorneys make their living on the ignorance of ordinary people. The reality is that divorce can be complicated and contentious, and having an experienced advocate at your side early on and throughout the process is critical to ensure that your rights are zealously advocated.
A combined approach
The bottom line? There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with a divorce planning app. Just make sure that you are also working with an experienced attorney to have your case evaluated, to engage in proper planning based on applicable state laws, and to protect your parental and property rights – in or outside the courtroom.