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Experts advise caution when using divorce smartphone apps

While most people would probably rather not admit it, their smartphone plays a major role in their daily lives. From keeping track of appointments and providing instant web access to paying bills and offering an endless array of addictive games, these devices are never far out of an owner's immediate reach.

Interestingly, as this reliance on smartphones has grown, so too has many people's willingness to turn to apps for answers to important questions and even advice on personal matters.

To illustrate, consider that there are currently hundreds of smartphone apps dedicated exclusively to divorce related issues. 

"We're in an app era," said one expert at the University of Minnesota. "Nowadays, people want to empower themselves with information without having to go to a professional to get it."

Naturally, both family therapy experts and family law attorneys alike urge those people considering a divorce to use extreme caution when consulting these apps for divorce-related advice, including reading reviews (if available) and researching who actually authored the app and their qualifying credentials.

Like physicians, they caution that there is really no substitute for consulting with a real professional who has the necessary specialized training and experience to answer questions, explain options and work through issues in real time.

This is not to say that all divorce-related applications should be avoided. Indeed, experts point out that some apps offer practical divorce-related services like calendars for keeping track of custody/visitation. Consider also the "Sesame Street: Divorce" app which is designed to help parents broach the painful topic of divorce with their children.  

What are your thoughts on divorce-related apps? Have you ever downloaded one of these and, if so, what were your impressions?

If you would like to learn more about divorce or divorce alternatives, you should strongly consider consulting with an experienced attorney. Together, you can outline your options and discuss your options moving forward.

Source: The Star Tribune, "Smartphone apps offer help with divorce, but their usefulness is debatable," Katie Humphrey, Feb. 24, 2014

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