Co-Parenting: There’s an App for That
After a separation or divorce, families are faced with acclimating to a new normal. In the midst of the new normal remains that fact that everyone in the family is busy. Parents are working, children have extracurricular activities, and sometimes shared parenting schedules are just straight up confusing. Luckily, in 2020, there’s an app for that.
There are mobile apps available, both free and for purchase, that are designed to ease the difficulties of co-parenting. Some of the helpful features include maintaining a joint calendar, messaging, a log for expenses and documentation for children, and photo sharing. It can be incredibly helpful, for the purposes of organization and communication, to have all of these features at your fingertips. Here are a few options that are easy to implement and will save a lot of time and frustration navigating the new normal:
This is the app most commonly recommended by family lawyers at Vogel LLP because it offers a number of great features for a reasonable price. There is a 30-day free trial period, followed by an annual subscription that ranges in price from $125 – $150. The app can be accessed by parents, children, and third parties (such as extended family members). Further, you can invite practitioners, such as parenting coordinators or lawyers, to access the central platform as well. This app has a calendar, message board, expense log, personal journal, and information bank all designed to organize co-parenting. There is even a tone-meter in the message board that will provide feedback on messaging to limit conflict.
This app is very similar to Our Family Wizard and will provide the same organizational benefits, but it offers an additional feature that may be helpful in higher conflict relationships. Included within the monthly subscription is On-Demand Mediation and One-on-One Coaching. The live mediators are able to help resolve disputes as they occur, reducing legal fees and time in court. They also will draft agreements and ensure everyone is on the same page. The coaches can provide support sorting through problems in the relationship, offer suggestions, and can help draft communications. The subscriptions rates for this app are (USD):
- Monthly plan – $12.99/month
- Annual plan – $9.99/ month
- Family plan – $16.67/ month for two users
Talking Parents is a free app with the option for a monthly subscription to access more features. The basic account only allows for access through the website, though it is mobile friendly. The basic features include a messaging board, print records of messaging, a shared calendar, personal journal, and an attachments library for documents. The upgrade costs $5.99/ month (USD) and allows access to the mobile app, a personal storage space, and notifications to your phone. It is a good option for co-parents looking for a basic organizational tool, without all the bells and whistles.