Using Technology to Facilitate Shared Parenting
Divorce ends a couple’s marital relationship, but, if they had children together, they must continue to maintain a civil and amicable coparenting relationship. While their inability to collaborate may have been one of the reasons for their pursuit of divorce, the pair cannot let these communication challenges affect their ability to raise their child. Luckily, there are a number of apps and online resources intended to make coparenting easier for those in this position.
OurFamilyWizard is a tool designed to reduce the stress coparents experience by facilitating communication between two households. The app keeps parents on the same page with all matters regarding their child. It includes useful features, such as:
- Calendar: Parents can track their custody schedules, document their child’s appointments or practices, and even submit requests to swap parenting time.
- Message Board: Parents can share messages on the record, ensuring that they will never be edited or deleted. The feature also includes a tool called ToneMeter™, which helps parents keep their communication productive.
- Journal: Coparents can upload memories and photos to share with each other.
- Expense Log: Parents can track their shared expenses, upload receipts, and even send secured electronic payments to reimburse each other for parenting expenses.
- Info Bank: Users can keep track of important information such as medical history, insurance information, school schedules, emergency contacts, and more.
The app is available on iPhone, Android, and Kindle Fire devices. Annual plans start at $99.
coParenter operates with the goal of keeping parents organized. It includes features like:
- Smart Messaging: Parents can communicate with non-editable messages that include the time and date they were sent, allowing the transcripts to be easily shared if need be.
- Check-In: Users can track their child drop-offs and pick-ups to show that they were on time. Their history can then be exported as a PDF.
- Information Bank: Parents can access a secure log of their child’s important information, such as health and school records, emergency contacts, and more.
- Expense Tracker: Coparents can log their expenses and, with the help of on-app mediators, determine which expenses should be shared.
- Synced Calendar: Users can sync their coparenting calendar with their main one so that they keep all of their necessary information in one place.
- Multiple Coparents: The app allows users to add several coparents, as well as other trusted adults like babysitters, to have access to important updates with the child’s schedule and needs.
The app’s most unique offering is the on-demand coaching and mediation services. Mediators can help coparents resolve disputes and draft agreements virtually. Coaches can help a user productively think through any problem they may be facing while offering suggestions along the way.
Interested parents can enjoy a free 30-day trial. After the introductory period, users will be charged $12.99 per month or $119 per year.
2houses simplifies the task of raising children in two households for families across 170 different countries. They offer features such as:
- Calendar: Parents can organize their parenting schedules with color-coded entries.
- Finance: Users can track and categorize expenses.
- Messages: Users can chat with their child, mediator, or coparent within the app. Messages may be archived but never deleted.
- Information Bank: Parents can keep their child’s information in one place.
- Albums: Coparents can share and download photos securely.
- Journal: Users can share updates and photos with those they’ve connected with on the app.
Interested coparents can purchase an annual subscription for $150.
As the name may suggest, TalkingParents is focused on the communication between coparents. The app offers:
- Secure Messaging: Coparents can send messages while seeing when the text was sent and when the other read their message.
- Unalterable Records: Users can order certified electronic or printed records of all communication that happens within the app.
- Shared Calendar: Parents can track their custody schedules and input other events. When one parent adds an event, they are the only one who can edit it.
- Info Library: Users can track important information from clothing sizes to medical history. They can also decide whether the new information they enter into the app will be shared with their coparent or remain private.
- The Vault: Parents can securely store their multimedia files in the Vault. These photos and videos will only be accessible by the parent who uploaded them unless they elect to share the files with their coparent.
- Personal Journal: Users can make private personal notes within the app and delete their entries at any time.
- Attachments Library: Coparents can see and download any files they have shared with the other.
It offers a free version with limited access to site features, as well as a paid Standard and Premium subscription option. Standard membership costs $5.99 a month, while Premium is $19.99 a month. TalkingParents is available online and as an app in the App Store and Google Play Store.
If your coparenting arrangement is too defective to be remedied by an app, our attorneys can help you pursue a modification. Contact Galmiche Law Firm, P.C. online or at (636) 552-4841 to discuss your case today.