If you and your spouse or partner have decided to part ways, your priority should be the best interests of your children. However, emotions can run high when you're going through a divorce or separation, and it's not unusual for co-parents to face challenges when it comes to communicating — or trying to keep track of scheduling in two households. To reduce any stress or conflict, you might consider using a mobile app specifically designed for co-parenting. By using a co-parenting app, you can help keep your relationship as amicable as possible — and make sure that your children’s needs come first.
Communication is the foundation of successful co-parenting. Today, that no longer means having to pick up the phone or have discussions in person. New technology has emerged over the last several years offering tools that allow co-parents to communicate effectively without face-to-face interaction — and with minimal conflict. A good co-parenting app can provide secure email, a calendaring system, and one place to store the children's school and medical documents to minimize tension, arguments, and misunderstandings between co-parents.
Even when there are open lines of communication between co-parents, scheduling might be a significant issue. Between work, school, and extracurricular activities, everyone is busy — coordinating calendars and trying to find the time to discuss your co-parenting schedule may cause a considerable amount of headache. Co-parenting apps can allow both parents to have the ability to access one central calendar where they can keep track of school events, doctor's appointments, vacations, and other plans. By synchronizing calendars, co-parents can stay organized and avoid confusion, without having to find time to sit down and talk with each other.
In situations where both parents can't work together, there are also apps that have "solo" functions so that one parent can still use the features of the software, even if the other won’t cooperate.
There are various co-parenting apps available for use on smartphones and laptops. Each of them offers different benefits, features, and functions. It's a good idea to do some research before selecting one. 2Houses, Our Family Wizard, WeParent, FamCal, CoParently, and Parentship are just a few of many options that are available. One app is not necessarily better than others — every app is suited for different needs, depending on your co-parenting relationship.
Once you identify your specific requirements, you can find an app with tools that help you meet your goals and objectives. Some apps focus on scheduling parenting time, while others track expenses or emphasize healthy communication. Specific apps can even provide third-party access to grandparents, attorneys, and judges.
Some of the features the best co-parenting apps offer may include:
Particular apps also have functions that flag messages which may be inappropriate in tone. For example, Our Family Wizard has a "tone-meter" which can make parents aware of how their message might be perceived before they send it. CoParenter has a similar filter that analyzes language and gives you the opportunity to edit any messages that may include inflammatory words.
Cost may be another factor when considering how to choose the best co-parenting app. Several apps offer different tiered pricing, depending on the package and any add-on features chosen. Although there are general calendaring apps that are available for free — such as Google Calendar — they usually don't offer the same kinds of communication capabilities as those specifically created for co-parenting.
Apps specifically meant for co-parents which include a number of features may charge a monthly or yearly fee — but it might be well worth it. If your divorce was contentious, an app with a full range of tools may be the best option to help you carry out every aspect of your co-parenting plan. If an app you're considering has a free trial, you should consider taking the opportunity to try out the tools before making your purchase.
It's important that your children see both their parents interact with one another in a civil manner. While apps can facilitate healthy communication and make scheduling visitation easier, they're not meant to be a substitute for good co-parenting skills. You should still take the time to develop an amicable relationship with your co-parent for your children's well-being. Even if you’re using an app, it’s essential to be flexible and willing to compromise to ensure your children get to spend quality time with both their parents.
An app is a tool that can assist you with navigating the challenges of co-parenting, but it won't necessarily make your relationship conflict-free. If you're going to use an app, it's necessary to first establish a co-parenting plan that details custody arrangements, parental responsibilities, and how decisions about the children’s lives will be made — an app won't do this work for you, but it can certainly help with carrying out your agreement.
If used in connection with an effective parenting plan, a co-parenting app can help make sure your focus remains on the best interests of your children, not the hassles of scheduling or discord with the other parent.
Whether you’re going through a divorce, or you and your partner are separating, co-parenting isn't easy. Fortunately, there are tools, such as co-parenting apps, that can help you maintain consistency, manage scheduling, and communicate more efficiently so that both parents can work together with less conflict.
However, custody disputes can still arise even in the most harmonious co-parenting relationships — it's best to have an established co-parenting plan in place to ensure the best interests of your children are met. The Law Offices of Rick D. Banks has more than 20 years of experience helping clients throughout Fresno and the surrounding area find positive solutions for their child custody and family law matters. To schedule a no obligation consultation, call (559)222-4891.