Jon Vaughn would like to see his free custody app get into the hands of people who need it most. Divorced guys like him.
This is just the beginning…
I will never stop pursuing this dream. Genesis started off as a concept I shared with a handful of friends. After years of planning, marketing, and entertaining potential investors, I’m ready to share with you the true vision of Genesis. My name is Jon Vaughn, single dad and founder of Genesis.
The concept was born after a court decision that negatively affected visitation with my daughter. This was the first time the court didn’t rule in my favor, something I wasn’t used to as the custodial parent for the first seven years. This was different. I was the non-custodial parent. Things changed.
Let’s backtrack for a moment. If you’re reading this, wondering how I lost custody, I encourage you to read a sobering story. It’ll shed a little light from a new window.
How it all started
I walked away from the courthouse that day in complete disgust. Every fiber of the good inside of me was being burned away by the resentment I had for my daughter’s mom, the lack of trust in the family law court system, and the self-inflicted shame for not keeping the records that everyone kept telling me about. My disdain wasn’t because I had lost, I already lost the most precious thing I ever had. I know what it feels like to be a loser. This wasn’t that. This emotional vomit was caused by feeling cheated and I didn’t object. I let it happen.
It took a few days to regurgitate the horrible experience over and over in my head. I could have punched concrete walls without care, denying pedestrians their rights-of-way as I drove, and wallow in my mean spirit as a newfound way of life. Fortunately, I knew one thing deep down that I could not deny: I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
What I needed
I searched for a mobile app that would help me keep records pertaining to custody, visitation, and support; something to keep me better prepared if there was to be a next time. There was a system that was desktop-based, cumbersome in complexity, and cost almost $100 every year to use, for each parent. With living paycheck to paycheck, $100 was a big purchase for me. Furthermore, I needed an easy-to-use system that could be with me at all times. I didn’t find what I was looking for. A couple hours of Google searches and I realized there was nothing created that made sense. This was the true beginning of my then-nameless journey.
The idea was shared with a handful of friends, some advising to keep quiet about what they thought would be patentable features. Features like auto-texting the other parent when a Pick Up or Drop Off occurs, or including the millions of grandparents whom, in some cases, are more apparent than their own children. Virtually anyone who has a vested interest in the well-being of a child could use this mobile method of communication, and it wasn’t until then that I realized busy, traditional families could use this as well.
I still hadn’t come up with a name and it bothered me. Names like CVS Manager sounded like I needed to pick up my prescriptions. Child Custody Management made things sound like supervised visitation. This isn’t a mobile app that would simply keep records. This is something that increases the effectiveness of communication by focusing on what’s in the best interests of the child. This is something you could use to communicate with that person who tends to make things more difficult than they need to be. This is something very new, something yet to be created. This is the start of a new beginning. This is Genesis, the name of my oldest daughter.
The local news did a short blip on Genesis when I ran a premature Kickstarter campaign last year. When I showed my youngest the video, she said, “Hey, that’s Sissy’s name,” excitedly. My heart hurt when she followed it up with, “Where’s my name?” It was like someone tattooed a sad face on my soul. In consolation, I filed an LLC with the Secretary of the State of California, naming it after her and us: Olive Us, LLC.
Every day there are 3,700 divorces filed in the United States and 65% of them involve at least one child. I have yet to calculate an accurate amount of children born out of wedlock. We’re probably looking close to 7,500 children per day, just in the U.S. We are all affected by separation and divorce because we all know someone. Genesis is something for all of us and something I will offer free to use.
Users will have administrative access to search, filter, manage, download or print their kept records.
Users will have the ability to easily add and manage multiple children, keep visitation records, shared expense receipt, and modify visitation calendars for one, multiple or all children simultaneously. Users can auto-notify other parties (multiple at once) of certain events concerning the child(ren), such as Pick Up or Drop Off, and send the location record. Records are defaulted to be kept in chronological order but can be reformatted to fit the users’ preferences.
To help make Jon’s dream a reality, please consider contributing to his crowdfunding campaign. Learn more here.