In the wake of divorce or separation, co-parenting can feel stressful. Not only have you just gone through an emotional experience, but you are also now trying to figure out how both you and your co-parent can spend time with your children independently while keeping the focus on them.
It is no secret that to co-parent and co-parent well that it requires time, effort, and energy. Thankfully, technology can assist. There are, in fact, dozens of apps that can help you and your co-parent keep your child front and center, manage and avoid conflict with your child’s other parent, and better your co-parenting experience all around.
Depending on your circumstances, one app might suit you and your family better than another. Or you might find yourself looking for more than one app to support your family’s needs.
To help you better distinguish one co-parenting app from another and which is right for you, check out the following eight, each of which demonstrates in its own ways just how helpful technology can be in making you and your child’s other parent a better co-parenting team.
OurFamilyWizard is a service that allows for simplified co-parenting. With a variety of features and levels of access, OurFamilyWizard helps make co-parenting flexible, easy, and straightforward.
By way of example, you can manage schedules and track expenses with the app. By eliminating confusion or stress about calendars or costs, you have more time and energy to focus on your children and less room for potential conflicts with your co-parent. OurFamilyWizard also has a helpful tool embedded into messages called ToneMeter, which helps you communicate healthily with your co-parent and alerts you when you might be wandering into more negative territory.
With various levels of access, parents, children, third parties, and practitioners can all access the app and specific information on it at no added cost to you. For instance, OurFamilyWizard recommends third-party accounts for people like grandparents, who might also benefit from being able to access the information stored on the app.
Child accounts are available, too, allowing your child to see the calendar but not become party to conversations or conflicts between parents. This allows for greater clarity for you and your family, which can sometimes be lacking in the aftermath of a divorce or other stressful situations.
FamCal is an app that emphasizes a shared familial calendar. FamCal lets families plan meals, create shopping or to-do lists, and share important contacts, among other things, all in one central place.
FamCal is helpful if you are looking for a service that operates as a hub for logistical information. Instead of having to share event dates or contact information across multiple platforms or to multiple people, you can enter it into one platform at any time on your phone.
If there are certain tasks your child needs to get done, like their homework or getting a signed permission slip, that information can go directly into the app for distribution to the entire family all at once and in a centralized location. Unlike some other similar services, FamCal is free.
TalkingParents is another app designed for minimizing stress and conflict between co-parents. Clear and helpful communication is one of the biggest goals for the platform, and this platform hosts many features that can help you to communicate effectively with your co-parent.
One highlighted feature is that all calls and messages are recorded and stored permanently within the service, meaning that a record of any conversations through the app is accessible for later review or discussion. If you and your co-parent struggle with recalling past conversations, this could be a helpful tool for circumventing that. Additionally, every action that you take on TalkingParents is recorded, which may be helpful for court or personal uses.
TalkingParents also allows for a shared calendar, an information library, and an accountable payment system. It also provides a place for off-platform information, such as receipts or other documents, to be stored.
WeParent is incredibly helpful for easy logistical management and planning. WeParent’s target demographic is divorced and separated co-parents, so their service is designed to help parents put their children first during stressful times.
WeParent offers a shared family calendar, which comes with a feature specifically designed for scheduling parenting time. There is a clear banner on the calendar that allows you to see which parent has the children on which days. This feature can help your entire family keep track of who is where and when. You can also add events and appointments.
Similar to other platforms, you can also share files for easy access. WeParent also offers private and group communication with family members.
2Houses is a platform designed with separated parents living in different houses in mind. The app is designed to make communication clear and constant.
One of the key features of 2Houses is its information bank. This service allows parents to bank information of all kinds securely and easily for each other to access. From social contacts to medical information, 2Houses offers a clear and accessible way to make sure you and your co-parent are on the same page.
Similar to other platforms, 2Houses offers an interactive and shared calendar that parents can edit and manage together with less conflict. They also offer a clear financial management system, reducing that area of stress, as well.
Custody X Change
Custody X Change is a helpful tool for creating parenting plans. This app is especially helpful if you are looking to hold yourself and your co-parent accountable to one other.
Custody X Change offers a helpful platform for creating a parenting plan that you and your co-parent can use in negotiations. It also offers assistance in creating the plan and a space to work on it.
Similar to other services, you can create a custody schedule together. Where Custody X Change differs, however, is in its tracking. Custody X Change can track deviations in your custody schedule and can provide you with a helpful graphical representation of your planned and actual time spent.
For instance, if you are late picking up your child or your co-parent cancels a visit, Custody X Change takes note and calculates the difference between your scheduled parenting time and actual parenting time. This can help you and your child’s other parent follow your parenting plan and put your child’s best interests first.
The app, coparently, is a helpful service that prioritizes children’s best interests by putting an emphasis on clear and intuitive custody tools. More specifically, coparently offers a helpful communication tool for clear and on-topic communication between co-parents.
Through its messaging center, you can communicate about a certain idea or topic, such as a sports tournament or a doctor’s appointment. You can specify a date, who’s needed, a description, and a location. The message center also shows when the message was first and last viewed, keeping co-parents accountable to each other and helpfully communicating.
Similar to other services, coparently offers a shared calendar and shared expenses service, as well as a place to share important contact information. The app also offers free guest and child access.
Fayr is an app that treats co-parenting like co-working. The aim is to make parents better parents and co-parenting a better experience.
Like other services, Fayr offers a time-sharing calendar, messaging, and a place to organize and keep track of expenses, among other things. This allows for easy information sharing.
Fayr differs from other apps in two helpful ways, however. Firstly, it provides a geolocation log, which offers a court a verifiable way to log your presence at any given time. This means that you and your co-parent can keep each other accountable; if you say you are going to take your child somewhere, the location log can keep a record of whether you did so.
Secondly, Fayr also provides monthly parenting reports and stats, detailing everything from how much time you are parenting to how quickly you respond to messages. It also allows for an easy PDF export of this information for personal and legal use.
Find a Seattle family law firm that prioritizes positive co-parenting.
At Elise Buie Family Law, our dedicated team of divorce and family law attorneys understands how much of an adjustment it can be to co-parent after a divorce, even if you and your ex are amicable. Factor in a high-conflict ex, and co-parenting can become that much more challenging.
The good news is co-parenting can become easier by implementing certain strategies, including the introduction of technology into your co-parenting routine. By using one or more of the above apps, you can harness the power of technology for you and your family with the common goal of putting your children where they belong — at the top of your priority list.
If you are struggling with co-parenting or would like to learn more about how to co-parent positively, we can help. Call our Seattle law office today.