Separated or divorced parents can now try to peacefully co-parent through a new app that aims to help bitter exes communicate better about their kids — and it could be legally mandated.
CoParenter, available in the App Store and on Google Play, claims to improve communications between estranged couples and will try to keep them out of court and save them lawyers’ fees. It also collects data like text messages and location sharing from both parties that can be turned over to the courts if needed.
Co-founder Jonathan Verk explained how he came up with the idea: “For four years my coParent and I went through an expensive and emotionally crippling litigated divorce. The adversarial family law system pitted us against each other and devastated our kids. There had to be a better way for separating, divorced and never-married parents to avoid the pitfalls of litigation and keep their kids at the center, not in the middle. That’s why we created coParenter.”
Retired judge Sherrill A. Ellsworth helped with input for the app. ”As Presiding Judge of one of the largest California counties, I saw the potential of CourtTech to fill a void," Ellsworth said. "I retired from the bench to focus on having a greater impact on today’s families by making our courts more accessible, effective, and efficient."
The app helps with co-parenting schedules, organization, checking-in during pickups and drop-offs, messages, to-do lists, as well as documenting all communication and keeping track of money. It even warns you before you send a heated text. Also, by registering through the court, your lawyer or another professional, they will have access to a third party view of your messaging, check-ins, and agreements. You can also add your lawyer, therapist, etc to your team and they will have access. Kids cannot access your account so long as you keep your password secure.
Approximately 70 percent of the app's users come from the courts and were ordered or recommended the app from a judge. Although it’s cheaper than a lawyer, there is a fee. After a 30-day trail period, users must pay either a $12.99 monthly fee or purchase the yearly $119.99 plan.
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