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Law prof's alimony app helps attorneys reach fair settlements

Contrary to what some might believe, Oregon and 44 other states have no court-recognized formula for determining alimony in a divorce. That means it’s up to the attorneys to decide what payments should be, which leads to wildly variable results.

UO law professor Julie Armbrust is trying to make the process easier, developing an app called SupportHound that uses a database of previously decided cases to help lawyers come to a fair settlement amount. Information about a client’s income, length of marriage and location is entered, and SupportHound produces a suggested amount and duration of a spousal payment.

She said the app, which costs $33 a month, is especially helpful for younger attorneys who do not have much experience on which to base their claims. SupportHound began selling its services in November 2016, and Arbrust said she’s consistently received emails from her customers full of positive feedback.

“Even though attorneys stand to benefit from these helper apps, the client will be the ultimate beneficiary,” she said.

For more, see “Legal Calculations” in The Register-Guard.

Arbrust is an adjunct professor at the UO, teaching classes on mediation. She is the president and founder of Mediation Northwest, CEO of SupportHound and the author of “Divorce Mediation In Oregon.” She was recognized in 2012 and 2013 as a Super Lawyer Rising Star in Oregon, and was on a 2011 list in The Register-Guard of the Top 20 Under-40 Business Leaders in Lane County.