Apps for Co-Parenting in a Modern World
Most parents would admit that raising children is hard work. Parenting gets even more difficult when you are co-parenting. Whether you get along well with your ex or dealing with them is a nightmare, parenting in two households is a challenge. Luckily, co-parenting apps exist to make things easier.
What Can Co-parenting Apps Do?
Co-parenting apps serve two primary functions: as a management tool and a communication platform. These apps provide tools like:
∙Shared calendars (some of which sync to your personal calendar)
∙ Shared tasks and lists
∙ Document and photo sharing
∙Memo or journal sections for notes
These tools help you keep track of the logistical aspects of parenting.
For communication, co-parenting apps offer a range of platforms. Some apps offer simple text-message like systems. Others offer more robust platforms similar to email that allow you to include attachments. In most of these apps, you can download your and your ex’s entire communication history. A few apps even help you and your co-parent send nicer messages. Our Family Wizard’s Tone Meter and Divvito’s bot, Dani, suggest changes to your messages.
While your attorney may recommend a co-parenting app to preserve communications for court, that is not their only purpose. Keeping all your communications in one place helps you stay organized. It also ensures you are actually focused on your children when you are communicating about them. Of course for emergencies or immediate logistical issues, you can still rely on phone and text.
What If I Need Special Features?
Some co-parenting apps go above and beyond in helping you co-parent effectively. For bilingual families, 2houses is available in French, Italian, and Dutch as well as English. Coparently offers third party limited access. This feature can be helpful for older children who want a say in their schedule or if professionals need access to the information. SmartCoparent offers a general budgeting tool that works with their reimbursements feature.
Some special features target repeated points of conflict. Fayr has a voluntary geo location check in for documenting arrivals at exchanges. SmartCoparent allows users to pay child support and reimbursements through PayPal, making it even easier to pay.
About half of the co-parenting apps allow website access to their platform while the rest are only available in app form. If you prefer to work on a computer, check for this feature.
How Much Do Co-parenting Apps Cost?
Co-parenting apps are much less expensive than going back to court because something went wrong. Some apps offer a free version. AppClose is completely free. SmartCoparent and Talking Parents provide many of their features on their free version.
Some co-parenting apps charge per parent and some charge per family. At the budget-friendly end of the spectrum, Unbroken Homes is only $99.99/year for the whole family. At the high end, Our Family Wizard is $119.97/year per person for a plan with all their features. Some apps get creative with pricing, like Fayr, which enables your attorney to get you a 20% discount.
If you have a co-parent who will use the cost as an excuse not to join the app, you may want to use one of the free or family-based pricing options. Whichever app you choose, a year’s subscription is still less than an hour of your attorney’s time.