At this point in the 21st century, there is an app for just about anything you want to do, from losing weight or running a 5K to keeping a journal or ordering your groceries. It should come as no surprise that there are apps that help make co-parenting easier. If you are co-parenting with your ex, here are some tools that can make communication easier and provide additional benefits that can just make your life a bit simpler.
Apps Specifically for Co-Parenting
Sometimes, parents prefer to choose an app or apps that are made with their particular circumstances in mind. Co-parenting apps will generally provide not only tools like a calendar to keep track of visits and doctors’ appointments but also tips on how to communicate with your ex and a trackable record of communication in case you need it for court later. Here are some that are made specifically for divorced parents of children.
Custody Connection (Apple only): If you have an iPhone or another Apple product, you might consider this app. In addition to a calendar, there is a tool to allow you to request date changes for overnights and a place to store medical notes such as when the child needs to take a dose of medication. You can try it for free for the first month, then, if you like it, upgrade to the paid version, which is $2.99 per month.
Our Family Wizard: This program is recommended by courts in all 50 states as a good tool for shared parenting. It will allow you to sync your calendars, request parenting time exchanges, and document your communication. What makes this program different is that it allows a therapist or guardian ad litem to log in to see what has been discussed. It eliminates the “he said/she said” and tends to keep both parents civil because everything is being documented. Pricing starts at $99 per month.
Coparently: This is an easy-to-use app and website that keeps track of your visitation schedules, shared expenses, and communication. You can also add your kids to the account so they can use it to request changes as they get older; it’s perfect for families with busy teenagers. You can store medical information as well, which makes it simple for either parent to provide needed facts at the doctor’s office. This is $99 per month for each parent.
Talking Parents: If you and your ex have a hard time communicating, Talking Parents might help. Communicate through the app and you will have an unalterable record. This is great for parents who are going through the court process or who have a history of needing a record of who said what to whom and when. The app itself is free; there is only a fee if you need to download your conversations.
Apps for Everyone That Also Help With Co-Parenting
You might not always need an app or tool that is geared only toward divorced or separated parents. In some cases, an app that is for general use will suffice. These are some free apps to consider if you don’t need the specialized help of a shared custody app.
Google Calendar: You might already use this, so if you do, adding another layer to your calendar that you will share with your ex is quick and easy. If you don’t, Google Calendar is a free service that is linked to your existing Google account. You can also create a new account if you’d prefer to keep everything separate. Both of you sync to the same calendar and can add details of appointments, field trips, sleepovers, and other plans that affect your co-parenting.
Cozi: This is another calendar app to consider. One difference between Cozi and Google is that Cozi has ads on its free version. On the plus side, however, it allows you to mark the status of your activities as complete, postponed, and so on. If space is an issue on your phone, Cozi’s app is smaller. It also offers widgets, a passcode option, and a media gallery. The basic app is free, but you can upgrade to remove the ads if desired.
New Family Project: This is a great tool for those who want to share photos with their ex without having to have them as friends or followers on social media. Upload the photos you want to share and the app will remove the location information, which is a great safety feature. You can add grandparents and other relatives to the app as well, allowing your ex’s parents to see pictures of the kids when they are on vacation with you or otherwise at an activity that they’d like to see. The best feature of all is that if internet safety is a concern, you can track the photos you put up to be sure that nobody is sharing them off of the site.
Tips on Using Co-Parenting Tools
Approaching your ex to use a new app or tool might be uncomfortable, but in general, the benefits will outweigh the inconvenience. Many of these apps will offer a free trial period, so you can ask to simply try it out for that amount of time to decide if it is a good fit for your family. You might point out the benefits, such as less of a need for the two of you to text or call each other regarding schedule changes and a lower chance of anyone forgetting about an upcoming class play, soccer game, or medical appointment. The apps that record communication between the two of you can be especially helpful for ex-partners who are having a hard time having productive conversations that don’t end in arguing or name-calling.
Learning how to co-parent effectively can be difficult, and some of these tools can make the situation easier. Contact National Family Solutions if you are having trouble navigating your divorce or custody case. We have helped many families achieve outcomes that are good for the parents and the children involved. See if we are the right choice for your case.