Relying on technology to settle divorce could be a mistake

On behalf of Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA posted in Divorce on Thursday, April 18, 2013.

People in Maryland may have heard of a new divorce service known as Wevorce, a controversial new tool that touts divorce services in a new technology-driven format that relies heavily on online services to guide parties through a divorce. In addition to the online divorce offerings, the company has several brick and mortar locations in the Midwest and beyond, but none in Maryland or anywhere on the east coast.

There are concrete instances in everyone's lives where technology has made information more accessible and in many ways simplified everyday tasks, so it's interesting to see a new take on the application of common technology to the realm of divorce law. However, there are a few issues about the Wevorce approach that people should be aware of before considering using this service.

First of all, Wevorce relies on a computer model which is supposed to categorize people into one of 18 groups based on personality traits and make predictions on how they will react emotionally. We all know that no person fits neatly into a box like this, especially when confronted with something as emotionally taxing and frustrating as the end of a marriage.

Taking a "one size fits all" approach to people like this seems misguided, as every person, relationship dynamic and situation is unique and should be better served by the presence and knowledge of empathetic and experienced legal counsel.

Another issue is that Wevorce is set up as a universal online tool, but obviously every state has its own nuanced set of family and divorce laws. It's unlikely that a computer program could account of the myriad of legal issues that inevitably arise in most divorce cases and require the specialized knowledge of Maryland law.

Source: Fatted Goose, "Getting Divorced? Wevorce Aims to Help Couples Navigate to a Settlement Through Tech," Anna Smushkovich, April 3, 2013