As smartphone technology has taken off over the past few years, it is not surprising that someone has invented a divorce app. What may be surprising is that there are now literally hundreds of them available. Colorado couples going through a divorce may be wondering how useful they really are.
The apps include “Sesame Street Divorce,” which is designed to help parents talk to kids about their divorce. Another is designed to help a person contemplating divorce with their decision. It asks a series of questions intended to help the person figure out if they are ready for divorce financially and emotionally.
How useful these apps will prove to be is debatable. Divorce is complex, and every divorce is unique. There are as many variations in the “typical” divorce case as there are divorcing couples. Whether an app can handle this complexity remains to be seen.
One area in which an app could be very helpful is in the area of child custody and visitation rights. In Colorado, courts refer to custody as parenting responsibility. Visitation is called parenting time. A number of options are available, including alternating weeks, every other weekend, and plans with specific numbers of overnights with each parent in a two-week period. Custody and visitation are addressed in a parenting plan which ideally is agreed upon by the parties.
Parents often end up in disputes when there is a miscommunication or misunderstanding about the agreed schedule, or when one parent fails to pick up or drop off the child at the appointed time. An app could help with these kinds of logistical issues, by providing both parents with a calendar, reminders of the parenting time schedule and a means to communicate changes.
Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune, “Smartphone apps offer help with divorce, but their usefulness is debatable,” Katie Humphrey, Feb. 22, 2014