Why an app cannot substitute for an experienced family law attorney

On behalf of Peterson Stark Scott posted in Divorce on June 23, 2016.

There are a number of things in life that can make great do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. Building a deck, remodeling a bathroom, or building a shelf—these can be great projects for those who are moderately handy and willing to put in the work. Heck, you might even save some money. As some of our readers know, though, the DIY mentality can be taken too far.

By DIY mentality, we refer to a way of thinking that says that it is best to take on a project yourself, regardless of the costs involved, the potential risks, and the skill level needed to get the job done right. Even the most experienced DIYers know that you have to recognize your limits and call in an expert when you reach the limits of your own skill level. When it comes to divorce, couples should be careful with the DIY mentality.

Readers may or may not be familiar with an increasingly popular app going by the name Amicable. Created in the U.K.—though its usefulness is apparently not confined to that country—Amicable seeks to help couples considering divorce to identify what they need to do to prepare for divorce, including gathering financial documents, sorting out custody matters and budgeting for future expenses post divorce.

Amicable, fortunately, doesn’t present itself as a substitute for an experienced divorce attorney, but it does seek to help users cut back on attorney fees by helping them to better engage in early planning for divorce. This may be helpful for some people, but it is important to be clear that working with an experienced and truly professional divorce attorney is in the best interests of an individual.

This isn’t necessarily to say that one should always get an attorney involved at the early stages of divorce planning, though it can certainly be helpful in some situations. Whatever the circumstances of the case, a skilled attorney is an essential resource for planning, pursuing, negotiating and navigating the sometimes complex issues that can arise in divorce, and no app can substitute for such expertise.

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