Modern technology continues to play an integral role in divorce proceedings, and a new app is trying to simplify the difficult task of dividing assets during a divorce.
iSplit Divorce was developed by George Moskoff after he and his wife of 25 years filed for divorce last year. Moskoff said he and his wife wrote down their assets on index cards, but keeping track of everything became too complicated, so he developed an app to ease the process.
“It makes the process more efficient and less painful,” said Moskoff.
How the App Works
The app allows couples to assign value to a list of their assets, and users drag and drop icons to their individual side until a settlement is reached. The app also totals the value of each side’s assets, which helps make sure the division is equal.
While the app may be a helpful tool, it offers another example of the increased presence of modern technology in the court rooms. According to a study by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, more than 66 percent of attorneys say Facebook and other social media sites are their primary source for incriminating evidence.
Along with social media sites, attorneys say dating sites and cell phone pictures can often leave a trail of infidelity.
“In earlier generations, it happened in other ways,” said Carol Gorenberg, a divorce attorney in Santa Rosa. “As always, it’s very painful for the person who finds it.”
Gorenberg believes the iSplit app can make the division of assets easier because less face-to-face time is needed. She also said that email communication can help ease tension during a divorce.
Another online tool for divorcing couples is Our Family Wizard, which was created to assist in child-related issues. Our Family Wizard allows former spouses to arrange visit times and coordinate events like practices or birthday parties. They can even request reimbursement for expenses without the need to meet in person.
All of the communication through Our Family Wizard is accessible by the courts, which leads to more clarification and less hostility.
“If I’m a parent coordinator or judge, I don’t have to decide who I’m going to believe that day,” said Bryan Altman, CEO of the Minnesota based program. “I can simply go to the site and see exactly where things broke down.”
Like iSplit, Our Family Wizard is available in app form for iPhones and Androids.
Attorneys regularly use software to help couples divide assets during a divorce. One popular program used by attorneys and evaluators is called FinPlan, which includes Divorce Planner and Divorce Math. It helps couples by determining how each party will meet their budgets, the tax consequences of spousal maintenance, and it allows couples to come up with multiple scenarios where debt and assets are distributed.
Attorneys also use Microsoft Excel to list assets and debts to determine their allocation. Couples who are attempting to divide assets and debts themselves should be aware that some assets and debts will have a marital and non-marital property, meaning that simply splitting the asset equally might not be what a judge would typically order. Couples should also be aware of the tax consequences associated with the division of certain assets like stock options, retirement accounts and 401(k) accounts.
Most couples are able to divide the personal property that they have between themselves, i.e. the sofa, the television, the dishes. However, if there are items that the couple cannot agree on, then attorneys will typically value the item at a “garage sale” price and include it in the assets and debts division.
Our Family Wizard is a great tool for parents who can use some assistance in communicating regarding their children. Unlike regular email, Our Family Wizard is monitored (usually discouraging people from sending angry emails) and it allows parents to access a calendar and deal with child support issues in one convenient program.
Related source: Press Democrat