Judge’s app aims to ease custody conflicts

Retired Judge Sherrill A. Ellsworth, an NJC alumna and faculty member, has come up with a technology solution to a problem traditionally handled with french fries. Ellsworth, a former presiding judge of the Superior Court in Riverside County, California, also served nine years as a family court judge.

Family court judges have long suggested that parties to joint custody arrangements rendezvous at a McDonald’s or other fast-food restaurant to hand off the children. The party arriving first can order something such as fries to generate timestamped evidence (the receipt) proving they were at the appointed place at the appointed hour.

CoParenter, a new smartphone and web-based app developed by Ellsworth and two cofounders, does the same thing electronically and much more, including private messaging and calendar sharing. The app has a unique feature, access to live, on-demand assistance from professionals trained in mediation. The app is free for now, but the judge says the company plans to monetize the service eventually for about $10 a month. For more information check out www.coparenter.com

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