A Florida father has come up with an app to help families going through a divorce.
"There's no other area of life where you can be in a civil lawsuit with another human being and you are forced to continue communicating with them," said Michael Daniels, who created the FAYR app while going through his own divorce. "Nothing is going to represent you better than the truth. And FAYR is going to represent the absolute truth."
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Daniels says the app helped him become the best version of himself around his son and daughter.
"I was very cognizant of the fact that in every moment there was some contentious flare between me and my ex that I was really robbing my kids of my best me," said Daniels.
Daniels came up with four areas that could help nip anxiety creating problems in the bud, including a calendar, expense tracker, geo-tracking option and report generator. He says it saved him countless hours of work and thousands of dollars in legal fees. Now through this app, he and others are able to streamline and track time with the kids, prove through geo-tracking where they are at any given time, and even track receipts for things like school supplies and doctor appointments.
Daniels researched several different companies to create this app and ended up on a show called "Planet of the Apps" on Apple TV to pitch his idea. He even gained the endorsement of actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who now acts as an advisor to Daniels in order to show him how he can grow and modify the app to help more people.
"It was just a great experience to go through that whole process and to earn the support of Gwyneth Paltrow," said Daniels. "This app is really geared towards people who share responsibilities, financially, things that are really affecting the majority of Americans."
Daniels says he even consulted with a Florida family law judge and several divorce attorneys and guardians ad item and came up with this system of documenting everything from the time and money each parent spends on their kids, to creating a simple and easy way to make reports they can use in court.
"Most people lose court cases because they are poorly documented," said Daniels. " And that's just the fact. You might be the better parent, but if you haven't documented properly - you don't take full advantage of your 10-15 minutes in front of a judge - you are going to lose."
We can all admit that saving every receipt and tracking down every bank and the medical statement is far from fun or easy.
But through the FAYR App, you can keep track of it all with just a swipe, a click and a pic - saving you time, money, and above all stress. And you can use the FAYR app even if the other parent does not want to participate.
"I just wanted to create a tool that would be very beneficial to everyone involved - including the legal professionals," said Daniels, who even figured out a way to be able to make text messages between exes admissible in court. "I designed it so you'd have the ease of text messaging with the admissibility of emails. So just by clicking print me a report you get all of that plus your time sharing calendar plus your geo check-ins - its just all there."
Daniels even took us through a quick tutorial of how the FAYR app works.
"Each parent's days are highlighted in a different color to help them and their kids keep track of the co-parenting schedule," said Daniels.
You can even add special events, like birthday parties or baseball games so that everyone in the family is kept in the loop. It even has a section to track all your kid-related expenses, giving you options to include pictures of things like receipts and the items purchased. The app also has the ability to create a running tally of how much you're spent for the year and any given month. It also gives you the ability to check in and geo track your movements, to prove you were where you said you were with your kids. And it instantly sends a text to the other parent to let him or her know where you are.
Daniels says he already has thousands of people across the country using the FAYR app.
"I get about 400 downloads a day," said Daniels.
Kenia Lizama is one of the many single parents who has added the app to her cellphone. Lizama says for the past 3 years, she has been in a vicious custody battle with her ex-husband. She says the FAYR app has helped navigate her post-divorce life in more ways than one.
"Yes it has tremendously," said Lizama. "It has allowed me to live with less stress, less anxiety making me able to dedicate a lot more time to my kids."
She says that alone has helped her be a better mom to her 4-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter.
Lizama says prior to using the FAYR app, she would spend countless hours stressing over who's day it was and trying to keep track of what days were missed.
"And it was really difficult because I was doing it on my own," said Lizama. "I didn't have an attorney at the time, and I had to do all of these documentations and gather all these documents and it became very stressful."
She says now with the app she can input that information into her phone immediately with a click and a pic.
"I can just track it, log it, and forget about it," said Lizama. "I can just easily go in and retrieve any dates or notes or expenses that I need to have the record of - and it's simply at my fingertips."
Lizama says the FAYR app has even given her kids peace of mind too - especially her 4-year-old son, who likes to keep track of who he's staying with during the week.
"Its easy for me to just grab my phone show him, because of the color coding, and say 'look you tell me who's day is it today' and he can say 'oh its mommy's day today' so yeah pretty simple," said Lizama. "Even a 4-year-old can use it and be able to keep track."
The FAYR App is free, but there is an exporting fee when users need to export their co-parenting records for court and other legal matters.
But both Daniels and Lizama say it has saved them hundreds of dollars in legal and copy fees, and also saved them countless hours - which they can now spend with their kids.
Right now the FAYR app is only available on iPhones and iPads. But Daniels says the Android version will be available for download in October of this year.
Daniels hopes to create a similar app for married families and those taking care of their elderly loved ones too.
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