Co-parenting apps aren’t new and they are becoming popular among separated parents experiencing all levels of conflict.
For the “low conflict” families the apps can be useful for sharing calendars so parents can keep each other updated about appointments, events, etc. They can also be useful for scanning and sharing receipts for shared expenses.
Parents who have a higher level of conflict may find the apps useful as communication tools for a few reasons:
- All communication is stored in an easily-accessible place and cannot be deleted
- Read receipts allow parents to know that the other parent has seen the communication
- If communication from the other parent is anxiety-inducing, parents can open the app and read the communication at a time when they are ready, rather than receiving emails and texts at any time directly into their inboxes and on their devices.
- Some apps have a tone-meter that can help a parent understand if their communication could be perceived negatively by the other parent
Some of the apps have a charge associated with them and some are free to use.
The best way to use these apps is in conjunction with a clear parenting plan that sets out the way in which the app will be used, how often parents will check the app, response time, etc.
Some of the apps are clients have used and liked include Our Family Wizard, AppClose, 2houses and Cozi. We don’t endorse any individual app (we find it really depends on the family’s needs). Talk to your lawyer or mediator about the apps that might work best for your family.
by Marian Gage, a Collaborative Lawyer, Accredited Family Mediator, Certified Specialist in Family Law and Principal at MGPC Family Law, Mediation, Wills & Estates