As a virtual law firm – meaning we can avoid expensive overheads to make a saving which we pass onto our clients – we obviously embrace innovative ways of doing things with new technology, especially if it’s of benefit to the client. Therefore, plans that the government are planning to release a “divorce app” have got us pretty interested.
One of the main reasons behind the app’s development is that it will teach parents how to talk to and about each other in front of their children – and with children being one of the most vulnerable stakeholders in the divorce scenario that can only be a good thing. Indeed, it could even be argued that the app could save the state money as less emotionally damaged children will require less state-sponsored counselling.
The app itself is planned as being a list of resources from charities and support bodies that will help partners through an often traumatic period of their lives with tips on issues such as working out child support, introducing your child to a new partner or simply avoiding arguments. The focus isn’t purely on the separation. There is advice available on other matters such as how best to resolve your issues and potentially stay together.
Obviously critics are rolling out the “nanny state argument”. However, it has to be noted that if the app does make a positive difference then such a view seems somewhat narrow-minded. The other issue is the cost of the development and marketing of the app which is £14m. It is hardly cheap and it will need to have significant impact in order to pay for itself.
While the app is not the first to deal with this issue – and indeed this appears to be modelled on much of the information available on parenting sites such as Mumsnet – many of the other apps already available focus on legal advice rather than the practicalities of dealing with what can be often a messy situation.
Obviously divorce is unpleasant, and nobody ever expects to get divorced. However if this app does make the experience less harrowing for partners and children – then it will get our full support.
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