CHICAGO — Communication is critical when it comes to running a household in good times and bad. Experts in the subject of breakups and divorce have a tool to help keep things moving in the right direction even when it feels like life is falling apart.Divorce lawyers say ToneMeter app is spellcheck for emotions, catches harsh messages
ToneMeter is a feature in the Family Wizard app that exists to help take the edge out of a digitally sent response before you send it.
Does it work? One divorce attorney in New York said his high-powered clients are advised to use it for the sake of family.
Attorney Michael Beyda said people need to be wary about what they put in writing. Whatever is said should help move the conversation and the family forward, even when the worst has been committed.
“Parents have found out that their kids are not actually their own children," Beyda said. "People have walked in on their spouses cheating on them.”
He said the stories go on and on. Beyda asks his clients navigating the roughest of waters to use ToneMeter to keep the conversation between feuding spouses clean and productive — usually for their kids’ sake.
The app works like spell check for people's emotions and highlights words that could get an angry spouse even angrier.
"With ToneMeter, this will actually underline those different statements and give you an emotional score as it relates to that phrase. Saying this is aggressive, humiliating, concerning and the goal is to prevent parents from saying something that might be misconstrued on the receiving end," Jai Kissoon, with ourfamilywizard.com, said.
The app doesn’t provide alternative phrases or keep score — the author can send what they want. It just flags potential problems and brings them to your attention.
"We often tell people: Try not to use so many adjective in your emails or communications, especially if it is a high conflict situation. Just try to be factual," Beyda said.
The Family Wizard app costs each spouse $99 per year and helps with everything from scheduling, sharing health records, keeping household administrative information all in one place.
ToneMeter is an added feature that costs an additional $10 per year per person and helps smooth things over before the words are out of your mouth and on their way to your spouse.