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Technology offers several DIY divorce options

In today's world, it seems like anything can be handled with a smart phone and the right applications. We can order our groceries, look up the weather, stream music and figure out how to repair our vehicle, all using the tiny computers that we now carry around in our pockets or handbags. When it comes to divorce, several companies have created apps that aim to give users the tools and information they need to complete a divorce largely on their own. While this may sound appealing to many in Florida, divorce is just not as simple as ordering take-out or looking up a sports score.

One company offers users a do-it-yourself divorce package that promises to provide all of the necessary paperwork, as well as the ability to file a divorce online. That service costs anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000, depending on the complexity of the couple's divorce case. Another company offers basic divorce mediation services for less than $800. In some cases, customers are allotted a brief consultation with an actual divorce attorney, but anything that goes beyond that meeting will be billed at an hourly rate.

There are many things in life that can be approached from a DIY perspective, but the legal end of a marriage is simply not one of them. Unless a couple has absolutely no assets and no children, there are complexities involved that make a divorce "package" a poor choice. For one thing, it is impossible to create a fair division of assets unless both parties are aware of the full scope of marital wealth, as well as what they are entitled to under state law. Very few individuals can meet those basic needs on their own.

The outcome of any divorce case is almost universally binding. Unless both parties consent to changes or one is able to convince a court that he or she was subjected to fraud within the divorce, the settlement that was reached will be binding. The stakes are simply too high for Florida couples to try and save money up front by using their cell phones and the Internet to complete a complicated legal process.

Source: CNBC, "Up next: Swipe right for a divorce", Jessica Dickler, March 6, 2016

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