Co-parenting, even between parents who get along, can be challenging. You need to manage the schedule for extracurricular activities, playdates, and family events without conflict. You have to keep each other updated on the kids and work together to make decisions, ranging from small, everyday decisions to major health and education decisions. You need to keep track of child support payments and reimbursements for out-of-pocket expenses. Your children bring home tons of documents from school, all of which need to be shared with the other parent. With all these different elements, the amount of communication between parents in separate households can be overwhelming.
Luckily, there are a ton of co-parenting apps to choose from to help streamline communication with the other parent and manage co-parenting effectively. Apps provide tools such as shared calendars, messaging platforms, document sharing, support trackers, and in-app payments. Today, Porchlight is taking a look at some of the more popular parenting apps.
Platforms: website, iOS, Android, KindleFire, Blackberry
Pricing: Starts at $99/year; discount bulk subscriptions available to practitioners; 30-day money-back guarantee; ToneMeter $10/year; scholarship program for litigants working with Legal Aid or a pro bono attorney; military discount.
Features: Shared calendar, ToneMeter, downloadable record of messages, expense log, payment system, journal, info bank.
Our Family Wizard is comprehensive, one of the most widely accessible across platforms, and is the only app to offer both tone monitoring and a payment system. The upfront price may be difficult for some folks, but it is the only app to offer scholarships and military discounts.
Platforms: iOS, Android
Features: Shared calendar, in-app text messaging with read receipts, expense tracker and reimbursement requests, payment system for approved expenses, information bank, scan and share documents, export text messages and reimbursement records.
AppClose is comprehensive, but the messaging feature is extremely simplified. This may not be a great option for high-conflict parents due to the messaging feature and its lack of a website, but it is the best free option. Combine it with Talking Parents for a totally free co-parenting app experience.
Platforms: website, iOS, Android
Features: Messaging platform that allows exchange of messages with pdf attachments. Messages cannot be deleted, and a complete record can be ordered for $3.99.
This app is great for parents who just need a messaging platform. Combine it with AppClose for a totally free co-parenting app experience.
Co-parenting apps can improve communication by making it easy for parents to send and receive information and consolidating it all onto one platform. Limiting communication to a special platform can also encourage more respectful interactions. In addition to co-parents apps, there are family management apps, apps promoting parenting positivity, parenting time logging apps, remote alcohol monitoring apps, child support payment apps, and dual-language parenting apps. While these can be beneficial to families, it is important to note that apps are not a one-size-fits-all solution. It is a good idea to explore apps that work for you and your family’s needs.
For more on co-parenting apps, you can check out our article in Atlanta Lawyer Magazine (pages 18-19). If you would like help with your family law case, you can contact Porchlight at (678) 435-9069 or make an appointment through our online scheduling system.