If your marriage was on the brink; if you had decided enough was enough and the only course of action was to separate, would you want to rely on an “app” to guide you seamlessly through the financial and emotional headaches and heartaches of divorce?
It seems unthinkable that a little piece of downloadable software could ever replace the professional services of say, a counsellor or a solicitor with many years’ experience, but it seems our Government thinks otherwise.
Want to stop arguing? There’s an app for that
Ministers are insistent that investing £14 million into their latest initiative – the “divorce app” – will be money well spent and that it will reduce the considerable burden currently inflicted on the Child Support Agency.
So what kind of help and support will the proposed divorce app offer?
Well, there’s advice on how not to argue in front of your kids. There’s tips for dealing with your soon-to-be-ex’s new partner. Advice on handling step-children. And of course, guidance on how to settle your financial affairs and future child maintenance payments cordially.
All this sounds conveniently civil – and in an ideal world it would be – but it’s important to recognise that, with the best will in the world, divorces can be messy.
So what it boils down to is this: would you be prepared to put your trust in a piece of pre-written code?
Good intentions? Or an invasion of privacy?
The cynical amongst us might question the motives behind the introduction of this latest proposal. And critics of the scheme will almost certainly accuse this “nanny state” of taking things a step too far, in its thinly-veiled attempt to invade our private lives once again.
Virtual technology has come a long way, that’s without question. But even supposing that the Government’s intentions do have our best interests at heart, it begs the question: How much practical, financial and emotional support could one reasonably expect from a “virtual” counselling service, at one of the toughest times of our lives?