Divorce is a complex process. Technology can be a huge help when trying to keep everything straight. On the other hand, technology can also end up costing you precious time and money if you make the wrong choices. It is easy to fall in love with what seems like the perfect specialized platform; but often times, overspecialization negates the alleged benefit. Here are five rules to determine which divorce technology can help you manage your divorce.
1. Utility Is Key
When evaluating a platform, I like to approach the evaluation from a uni-tasker vs multi-tasker approach. I was first introduced to this approach when I was in my Alton Brown Good Eats phase. He had a philosophy on kitchen utensils that whenever possible, you should acquire equipment that can serve multiple uses. Divorce technology is no different. Subscriptions add up and pretty soon you can find yourself pay a lot of money for limited functionality. The reality is that many mainstream platforms or portals, such as Google or Office 365, give you the ability to manage your divorce. In addition, they also have the ability to manage your life outside of the divorce as well. The best part is that flexible platforms, like the two Google or Office 365, continue to provide value after your divorce and beyond.
2. The Best Money is the Money You Never Spend
During your divorce there is always someone who wants to sell you something. This is not to say that it is not well-intentioned. Many providers sincerely want to make your life easier, but they also need to make money. The reality, however, is that often times these platforms can be re-inventions of currently available technology that you are already paying for. Many people have Office 365 because they need a full version of Outlook. Then, they have the Microsoft Office Suite for their personal, business or educational needs. Oddly enough, they do not venture into One Note or other integrated programs that can hep them manage such things as notes or document storage.
3. Interoperability Reduces Headaches
A slick divorce technology may be great, but, if that platform is an island, it can actually add work with additional steps. If you are using a specialized platform and the people with whom you are coordinating are using something else, you can soon find yourself caught up in a mess of redundant effort and unneeded stress. Additionally, you may find yourself forced to buy additional platforms just to open documents and spreadsheets.
4. Security is Necessary
You will be dealing with a lot of personal information while you manage the divorce process. To put in plane and simply, many of the big technology providers such as Google or Microsoft have more money to spend on security and encryption. Their subscribers come all walks of life, which provides them a larger market of paying customers and a bigger budget to invest in the security technologies that you need to protect your data.
5. Accessibility Saves Time
The same way that a technology platform can be an interoperability island, it can also be an accessibility island. If the platform is just PC or just mobile, it can severely limit the usability. Whether it is on your phone while you wait for your kid to finish their taekwondo or on your PC while your binging a show on Netflix, you need the platform to be accessible when you need it and where you need it. After all, divorce is full of surprises and the platform needs to keep up with this unpredictability.
So, at this point you’re likely sitting in utter shock thinking that you need a PhD in computer science to decide what platforms or platforms to utilize for your divorce. While selecting technology solutions can be daunting, there is a ton of help available at little or no cost. The internet is literally overflowing with tutorials to help best utilize the most prominent software packages. If DIY is not your style, you can likely find a consultant to help you select, set up and utilize the right divorce-tech for you.