7 Apps to Help Make Co-Parenting Easier
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Divorce is hard, but it doesn’t mean co-parenting has to be. In fact, positive co-parenting can make divorce much easier for both children and parents.Feinberg M. E. (2002). Coparenting and the transition to parenthood: a framework for prevention. Clinical child and family psychology review, 5(3), 173–195. https://doi.org/10.1023/a:1019695015110 While splitting up usually means parents relocate with shared custody of a child, the distance doesn’t mean communication should stop. Though it can be tough to stay on the same page as the other parent, technology is helping to bridge the gap.
Life After Divorce: 7 Apps to Help Make Co-Parenting Easier
Co-Parenting apps are now available to help with everything from keeping track of parenting time and finances to coordinating important events. The use of technology to co-parent can be a lifesaver, enabling you to focus on your child instead of planning appointments and figuring out transportation.Russell, L. T., Ferraro, A. J., Beckmeyer, J. J., Markham, M. S., Wilkins-Clark, R. E., & Zimmermann, M. L. (2021). Communication technology use in post-divorce coparenting relationships: A … Continue reading This is yet another example of how parenting in the 21st century enables parents to make their lives easier, even during something as difficult as divorce.
But which are the most effective?
2houses is a do-all for parents living in… well, two different houses. It features a coordinated calendar, tools to manage shared expenses, and messages between parents and even a mediator. The app boasts the ability to help parents who may no longer be living together to still maintain a high level of communication and organization, which is crucial.James, C. L. (2018). Communication in Divorced Families with Children. The Hilltop Review, 10(2), 11. This all is to protect the health and well-being of children to ensure that their quality of life is not impacted by their parent’s decision to divorce.
Features of 2houses include:
- Co-parent calendar: The calendar is accessible by all co-parents and allows for the planning of child pickups and drop-offs. This can minimize the chance of missed events and/or forgotten appointments.
- Shared expenses: Parents can enter and track shared expenses with the child, such as academic fees, medical bills, and other ongoing costs. This is a lifesaver when it comes to budgeting, custodial accounting, and even sharing appropriate tax information.
- Custody journal: The custody journal is an important feature for parents. This gives the ability to share updates on the child for the other parent who does not currently have the child in their care. This can be anything from illness, allergies, celebrations, hobbies, life milestones, and more.
- Messaging: Parents can message one another and/or a mediator, allowing for open dialogue and the ability to keep parents up to date on everything.
Overall, 2houses is a communication and organization tool that is available to help make co-parenting easier for parents on the go.
2. Our Family Wizard
Our Family Wizard also has a handy calendar feature and tools to track reimbursement requests and child’s medical details in real-time. In addition, notifications help you stay on top of what’s happening. This app markets itself as a better blueprint to instilling healthy co-parenting and as a better alternative to traditional communications via email and text messaging.
Features of Our Family Wizard include:
- Calendar: The calendar allows for the sorting of events by a child. The parents can also assign members to specific events, allowing them to be responsible for certain aspects while planning and setting up transportation. This keeps everyone aware and allows for a better experience for the child.
- Message board: This app has a feature similar to a forum, allowing parents to post and comment on relevant topics. This can be anything from medical emergencies, school events, and other notifications which might come up.
- Journal: The journal feature is an ongoing log of the child. This allows parents to stay on top of what’s happening and any updates that might come up. Parents can track things like milestones, illnesses, injuries, and more to provide better care for the child.
- Expense log: Parents can track and log shared expenses, including reimbursement requests. This allows for easier accounting, budgeting, and overall organization when it comes to shared expenses.
- Info bank: The info bank can include medical information, daycare providers, schools, and other pertinent details that parents might need to know. This is where everything can be stored for quick and easy access for safekeeping.
The Family Wizard is an app that makes co-parenting easier by keeping everyone on track and should be considered by parents who are trying to make co-parenting easier with their respective calculated parental custody time.
Apparently has mobile access and lets you stay on the same page with a shared calendar. But it also features a journal, shared expenses, important contacts, access to photos, and even alerts for important upcoming dates. The app is designed to build trust and accountability with both parents, allowing for better co-parenting.
Features of Apparently include:
- Family chores organizer: Parents can make and track chores and assign them to certain members of the household. This means that everyone is aware of what needs to be done, by who, and when. This is a great way to stay on top of home management when you’re not physically present with your family.
- Set goals and build skills to improve behavior: This feature helps parents to establish clear rules and expectations for behavior, as well as the consequences if those rules are broken. This means that both parties know what to expect and how to behave appropriately- which can lead to a more peaceful co-parenting experience.
- Keep track of grades in school: Parents can check grades and homework completion to make sure that children are staying on top of their academic responsibilities. This is an easy way to ensure that kids are getting the proper supervision and reminders they need to succeed from either parent, regardless of their physical location.
This app is designed to streamline communication, so nothing gets lost in the shuffle, and both parties are more likely to be on track with their responsibilities.
Cozi has many ideal features for co-parenting, but like some of the other apps, it can also be useful for married parents under one roof. Not only does it keep track of the activities of all family members, it even tracks grocery lists, to-do lists, and more! The app boasts the ability to keep all family matters organized and in one place. The interface is aesthetically pleasing and easy to use, making it a great option for parents who haven’t yet mastered the art of perfect organization and want to simplify the process.
Features of Cozi include:
- Family calendar: The calendar is easy to read, with important dates and events clearly visible. Multiple family members can add events that they’re aware of, so everyone is on the same page about what’s going on and when. This makes it easy to coordinate between parents who don’t see each other very often.
- Shopping list planner: Keep track of grocery lists, to-do lists, and anything else you might need to remember with this feature. This makes it easy to keep track of everyone’s priorities regardless of their physical location or current workload.
- Recipes: The app comes with a recipe section that can be shared between parents, children, and anyone else who wants to take part in meal preparations. This allows for assistance to home-cooked meals even if one or more people aren’t around to prepare them.
This app is great for families looking for a solution to effective co-parenting.
5. Talking Parents
As the name of Talking Parents suggests, it keeps a secure log of parental communications. A parent can’t change what they said down the road, as the host keeps a separate log from the devices used. Basically, instead of using social media or email, it puts all communications between two co-parents in one place. This can be useful in the case of mediation or litigation. It also keeps communications in chronological order. The app markets itself as the only co-parenting app that gives parents the ability to have secure video calls without needing to disclose a personal cell phone number to the other parent.
Features of Talking Parents include:
- Secure messaging: Parents can chat with each other and send real-time messages, which allows for a more free-flowing conversation. This is especially helpful when parents don’t live close to each other, as it allows for quick questions and offers the ability to send updates quickly.
- Secure video calls: This can be done without disclosing a personal phone number, keeping both parties safe. This is especially useful when parents need to communicate in person but live apart.
- Shared document storage: If there are any logistical issues that need to be taken care of, parents can use this section to store related paperwork. This is particularly helpful if it’s difficult to exchange paperwork between parents, such as when one parent relocates and lives far away.
Overall, this app is great for parents who want to consolidate their efforts in a way that’s both secure and easy to use.
6. Google Calendar
This app can be used fairly easily by anyone with a mobile device. You create a calendar and then allow permission for another parent to view or add to it.
It can keep track of parental visits and create reminders for them and other events involving the child. The Google app can also take booking confirmations from your Gmail account and automatically add them to your schedule.
Features of Google Calendar include:
- Child’s schedule planner: Parents can easily create a shared calendar to see what the other parent has planned for their child, so no one is left guessing or surprises are created.
- Reminders for visitation: This is great if there are pre-established times that a child needs to be with each parent. If a visit is coming up, the app can send a reminder, so no visits are missed.
- Online confirmation alerts: This allows for everyone to see when there are online confirmations for any event listing the child’s name, so everyone who needs to see it is aware.
The app markets itself as working with any calendar app, so it’s easy to use on any device. Just keep in mind that Google calendar and other calendar apps aren’t controlling you or your family’s lives. Even if it’s on the schedule, you are in control of what happens for your family.Manley, J., Wilson, S., & Oster, E. (2021, August 4). Review: Emily Oster’s “The Family Firm” Recommends Running Your Family Like a Business. The New Republic. Retrieved February 16, 2022. … Continue reading
Amicable is aimed at making the separation process as smooth as possible. It can simplify the process of separation, as well as outline plans for co-parenting. It can even help divide assets and create budgets.
Features of Amicable include:
- Shared co-parenting calendar: Parents can view one another’s schedules and share information on their child’s activities, so there are no scheduling conflicts.
- Co-parenting goals: Parents can discuss what they want to achieve through co-parenting, so there are no surprises when it comes to things like language development, visiting each other’s homes, etc.
- Secure private messaging: Parents can share documents and keep conversations private, so there’s no need to worry about snooping eyes or cyberbullying.
This app overall is great for creating a plan for co-parenting that both parents agree with in advance.
Co-parenting Apps Make Life After Divorce Easier
Going through a separation can be a trying and emotional time for parents, but you can minimize the impact on children by keeping their needs at your fingertips.Sbarra D. A. (2015). Divorce and health: current trends and future directions. Psychosomatic medicine, 77(3), 227–236. https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0000000000000168
Contact The Valley Law Group Today for More Information Regarding Child Custody
No matter which app you choose, having an experienced lawyer on your side can make sure your child’s best interests are represented. We are committed to helping each client achieve the most favorable resolution possible in their divorce and child custody cases.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in June, 2021 and has been updated in March, 2022.
Ryan Reppucci, Co-Founder of The Valley Law Group, is recognized as one of Phoenix’s leading family law attorneys. After graduating from Arizona State with the highest honors and inclusion in America’s most prestigious student honor societies, Ryan attended the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. His career as a law student was decorated with numerous awards, including the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law Book Award, nomination for membership in Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities, as well as Moot Court.
|↑1||Feinberg M. E. (2002). Coparenting and the transition to parenthood: a framework for prevention. Clinical child and family psychology review, 5(3), 173–195. https://doi.org/10.1023/a:1019695015110|
|↑2||Russell, L. T., Ferraro, A. J., Beckmeyer, J. J., Markham, M. S., Wilkins-Clark, R. E., & Zimmermann, M. L. (2021). Communication technology use in post-divorce coparenting relationships: A typology and associations with post-divorce adjustment. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 38(12), 3752-3776.|
|↑3||James, C. L. (2018). Communication in Divorced Families with Children. The Hilltop Review, 10(2), 11.|
|↑4||Manley, J., Wilson, S., & Oster, E. (2021, August 4). Review: Emily Oster’s “The Family Firm” Recommends Running Your Family Like a Business. The New Republic. Retrieved February 16, 2022. https://newrepublic.com/article/163151/not-run-family-like-business-emily-oster-family-firm-review|
|↑5||Sbarra D. A. (2015). Divorce and health: current trends and future directions. Psychosomatic medicine, 77(3), 227–236. https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0000000000000168|