Should spouses use phone apps to assist in their divorce?
It seems as if there is a phone application for virtually everything, from finding the lowest prices on gasoline to securing a great deal on your next hotel stay. We have come to rely on our phones to do far more than just allow us to communicate with one another; they now serve as tiny portable computers that allow us to access and share information almost immediately. There are even apps designed to assist Florida spouses who are going through a divorce, although the wisdom of using such programs is questionable.
Some apps claim the ability to help spouses estimate how much they might receive in alimony payments. While an app is certainly capable of taking the income of both parties and calculating an estimated payment, this is not the level of legal advice that anyone should rely on to make serious decisions. There are a number of factors that come into play when reaching an alimony agreement, and no app is sophisticated enough to accurately weigh such variables.
For example, alimony is just one aspect of a far wider property division outlook. There are a number of tax ramifications that accompany alimony, and spouses usually weigh a wide range of options before reaching a payment amount. Some spouses will settle for a lower monthly alimony award in lieu of a greater share of other assets, such as retirement savings. Others may agree to accept higher child support payments and lower alimony until the children are of age and on their own.
Florida spouses who are in the early stages of divorce are best advised to leave the finer details of their divorce to those who are capable of providing an experienced and professional opinion on the matter. The outcome of property division and alimony will have long-term financial ramifications, and are not decisions to be made lightly. While technology is certainly a powerful tool, your phone is not a substitute for solid legal guidance.
Source: The Journal News, “Considering divorce? There’s an app for that”, Katie Humphrey, March 23, 2014