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Getting a divorce? There's an app for that

New Smartphone applications allow even the most overwhelmed spouse the opportunity to prepare for divorce. Whether a marital break-up is mutual or ends with a contested divorce, believe it or not there is an app available to help guide the way.

Divorce, much like marriage, is a process. Most spouses would probably agree that entering a marriage is a far more pleasant experience than exiting one. Smartphone applications can aid with both.

None of the apps pretend to offer substitute legal advice. Some offer general information about divorce preparation. One Google Play app shows child support estimates for all states. Most apps on the market offer single-state information, because divorce laws and support calculations vary greatly.

Valuable applications can help save time, and therefore expense, by helping to streamline meetings with divorce attorneys. A user can learn what to expect from an initial lawyer consultation and how to total marital assets for later settlement.

Some iPhone and Android applications have step-by-step features that follow users through, and sometimes beyond, the divorce process. The Divorce Log application will monitor payments for support and alimony, co-parenting schedules and legal expenses. It also organizes divorce-related communications and documents.

Another app acts as an evidence collector for spousal abuse victims. The app lets users gather and secure images or audio that can be used to help support an abuse case. The software also provides a safety contact feature that informs authorities, if danger threatens.

Divorce preparation and management software smooth some of the rough edges of divorce. Apps are useful, especially for spouses who have few other sources for reliable information. Some divorce attorneys have found client apps so helpful they have created and added their own versions to the marketplace.

Applications give spouses ideas and tools meant to be used as aids, not crutches. Relationships and divorces are unique. Generic app results for child and spousal support may not match a personal outcome in real-time divorce court.

Source: latimes.com, "I don't anymore: Apps to help with the details of divorce," Michelle Maltais, June 8, 2012

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