Co-parenting children, when you are no longer with your ex, can be fraught with difficulty, frustration, and anxiety. And without effective communication, discussions about schooling or medical treatment can easily turn into an argument and resurrect old hurts that may have contributed to the end of the relationship. But, as with most things in life, there is an app for that. Co-parenting digital applications are increasingly being used by parents to create healthy boundaries and maintain open communication. This article considers the benefits, limitations, and how to go about choosing the right app for you.
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What are the reasons for using a co-parenting app?
Reasons for using a co-parenting app will vary between families as their needs will depend on each unique family situation. Here are some common reasons for using a co-parenting app:
- Gives both parents a common space to store, share, and access children’s information, such as medication or appointments
- It helps promote better communication and exchange of open dialogue
- Keeps everything in one place and limits the problems of trying to manage two households. Just a few of the things parents often have to share, include: school information such as teachers, homework, payment for school lunches/trips, clothing and shoe sizes, Christmas/birthday lists, contact information for family and friends, medical/dental appointment – the list is endless.
- Encourages both parents to stay child focussed
- Helps both parents to stay involved in their children’s lives. The most important thing for children when their parents separate or divorce is for them to stay actively involved in their lives. Having all the notices and schedules in one place can make it easier for parents to attend functions and actively participate in their children’s lives.
What does a co-parenting app do?
Generally, these apps include things such as messenger functions and calendar features to help keep track of children’s activities, or parenting time schedules. They can also include expense trackers to help parents divide costs and request reimbursements from the other parent. Many apps feature a section where you can list all the child’s educational information, child care arrangements, medical details, and contact information. This makes information relating to the child easily accessible by both parents and removes the need for direct communication.
Some co-parenting apps create a permanent record of all communications between the parents via the app, which are downloadable. The ability to preserve, print, and download messages can be useful for any ongoing or future court cases.
How much does a co-parenting app cost?
Some apps are free, others require a one-off fee, and others have an ongoing subscription payment. It is very common for apps to offer additional functions for a higher price. In respect of ‘free’ apps, it is important to be aware of any hidden charges, such as in-app purchases or data and privacy issues.
Which app should I choose?
Whilst the following apps are US designed, functionality and objectives work just as well for UK users. Here is a summary of options with information taken from 2023:
|AppClose||Calendar, parenting scheduling templates, statistics, comment capabilities, messenger, request expenses, downloadable records and 24/7 customer support||Free||4.7 stars|
|2Houses||Advanced management calendar, easy management of expenses, messaging, important information bank, photo albums, journal||Free 14-day trial then £8.25 per month||4.2 stars|
|Cozi||Keep/share the shopping list in real time, store recipes, plan meals, keeps event, activities all in one place||Free||4.7 stars|
|Our Family Wizard||At-a-glance parenting schedule, shared parenting reimbursement requests, share and store important family details, document and organise communication, simplifies parenting time exchanges||Starts at £99 per year with a 30-day money back guarantee if it’s not the right app for you||3.5 stars|
These are just a few examples of what is available and there are many more co-parenting apps out there. It really is just a case of searching the app store and choosing which one suits your circumstances best. Try giving a couple of apps a trial run for a couple of weeks before you make a final decision, so you can make sure you choose the option that works best for you and your family.
What are the drawbacks of co-parenting apps?
If you have been communicating well with your ex, then using such apps may not be necessary, because you can continue to work together without the aid of a co-parenting app.
Are co-parenting apps suitable for all types of family arrangements?
Co-parenting apps can be used for a wide variety of arrangements, so it will be possible to find one that suits you and your specific situation. When thinking about the app that may be suitable for you, consider things such as your communication needs and co-parenting arrangements. You can add unique features such as tone meters. These can help parents with a history of conflict anticipate how the tone of the message could be received by the other by flagging statements that may be seen as problematic or challenging. The message sender is then given the opportunity to modify their note before sending.
Navigating arrangements for children can be difficult in even the most communicative of relationships, and conflict can easily arise. Ensuring children’s lives remain as unaffected as possible by separation or divorce is a goal most parents strive to achieve. Co-parenting apps can help provide a focused method of communication which is solely about the children, and can also make sure there is an open channel of conversation which allows you to stay fully involved in your children’s lives.
The information on this website is to be considered a guide and is therefore not legal advice. You use this information with the understanding that Wiselaw does not accept liability for any direct or indirect losses as a result of anyone relying on or acting upon the information on this website. Whilst we endeavour to provide accurate information, Wiselaw does not accept liability for any errors or omissions on this website.