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Risk-reward: Something to think about with divorce applications

The technological age is really upon us. We ignore the advent of this time and all of the implications it might have at our own peril. The effects that technology can have on relationships -- to either hinder or help -- is something that we've talked about previously.

Back in 2012, we wrote about how there seemed to be a surge among feuding spouses to use spying technology to covertly collect evidence for use in divorce and child custody disputes. And more recently, we wrote about a software company looking to perfect code to offer online resolution to common legal disputes, including divorce.

The question posed in that post was whether the vision of online divorce could ever become reality? It's a proposition that many suggest is a long way off. Even the most simple of uncontested divorce actions today can put individuals' rights at risk, so consulting an attorney remains a good idea.

Still, there are plenty of efforts being made to apply technology to address long-standing difficulties related to divorce. As anyone with experience in this area can attest, the process can be costly, emotionally draining and, when children need consideration, logistically nightmarish.

To the extent that computer applications and online services are developed that may fulfill claimed promises of making divorce easier, they probably deserve to be considered for the possible good they could do. By facilitating the exchange of important information and helping get everyone involved on the same page, it may well serve to make life for families of divorce less tense.

But it might also bear remembering that technology is only as good as the human beings who use it. In the technological age, a lot of people are joined together without even knowing it. Every app generates data and all that data is collected by others with the potential of being put to use somehow.

As a matter of due diligence, it would seem wise for anyone considering using some new app to learn all they can about who might feed off the data crumbs and to what ends.

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