A new app is being launched to help separating couples navigate the minefield of divorce and avoid the need for legal assistance. Whilst I am yet to test the app, and in principle think it’s a fantastic idea to provide separating couples with legal know-how that doesn’t break the bank, I am incredibly concerned that anyone should proceed with a divorce without actually speaking to a solicitor at least once. As those who have divorced – even very amicably – will know, there is so much more to divorce than a marriage being dissolved. Issues over child arrangements, and more commonly the division of marital assets, has to be considered. There are many urban myths and misconceptions about spousal rights. Further, even if you have no assets, liability for debts is an equally pertinent issue, as is making sure that your claims against one another are permanently dismissed to avoid a future claim being made once perhaps you do have some cash in the bank – just ask Dale Vince, the founder of Ecotricity who recently failed to knock out a claim for financial relief brought by his ex-wife thirty years after they divorced, because there was no record of their claims being dismissed.
The app combines emotional support and legal information with the tools to allow a couple to do all the administration required to get to the point where they can apply to a court to be legally separated.