The Best Co-Parenting Apps of 2022
Designed to Make Life Easier: The Best Co-parenting Apps of 2022
- Are you struggling with co-parenting and feeling overwhelmed by your shared parenting challenges?
- Are you looking for child-focused solutions that are designed to simplify co-parenting and uncomplicate your life?
Every parent wants what is best for their children, but conflict between divorced parents is especially hard on children. Times of profound change are often scary for children, particularly if their parents are not getting along.
Our Principal and Managing Director, Lisa Wagner and Family Lawyer, Zoha Khan have formulated a selection of apps and e-platforms that help manage the challenges that come with raising children in separate homes.
Here are some of the best apps out there to help streamline communication between co-parents:
Our Family Wizard
Our Family Wizard (‘OFW’) is a comprehensive co-parenting app that comes with a variety of tools designed to optimize communication between co-parents on all fronts. It is available in both a desktop and mobile version and can even be used by third parties and professionals.
The Shared Calendar function on OFW allows co-parents to establish a shared parenting schedule that tracks parenting time, upcoming appointments, re-occurring extra curriculars, and parenting swap times. Through the app, co-parents can request one-time alterations to parenting times. Approved requests will automatically update the parenting schedule and be documented on the app.
Through the OFW Message Board, co-parents can send and receive messages to other family practitioners, children, and other family members. All communications are documented through the app, available to download and cannot be deleted. What is unique to this app is their intuitive Tone Meter, that functions like an “emotional spell-check” and encourages parents to remain civil by flagging emotionally charged phrases while you type.
Other key functions of the app include:
- Diary and journal – allows users to record observations and notes for their own private use, or post family occasions and outings that can be shared with co-parents, family professionals, children or other third parties.
- Expense log – creates a shared register of parenting expenses. Through this function, co-parents can generate document reimbursement requests and detailed reports to review expenses.
- Information Bank – securely stores all vital information including contact details, medical notes, clothing sizes etc. Documents can be uploaded to the app and kept privately for the users’ personal records or shared with their co-parent.
- Check-in – users can document where they are at any given time through OFW’s geo-tracking check-in feature.
Unfortunately, the app requires both co-parents to sign up for an annual subscription which starts at $130/year. Whilst the platform promises a 30-day money-back guarantee for unsatisfied customers, it may prove to be out of the budget for many potential users. Further, unlike other co-parenting apps on the market, OFW does not support video and phone calling through the platform.
OFW would be best suited to high conflict families or co-parents who are interested in being very organized. For the premium price, you want to be getting the most out of all of OFW’s features, as there are other more affordable web-based platforms which also provide a messaging platform and basic calendar features.
AppClose is a free alternative to paid shared calendar apps that assists co-parents in implementing their shared parenting arrangements.
Like OFW, AppClose offers the following key features:
- Multi-functional Calendars – allows users to set up and track parenting time.
- Messenger – gives users the ability to group chat, export private communications, and keep accurate records between co-parents that cannot be deleted unless both parents delete their AppClose account. Unlike other calendar apps, AppClose users can call and video other users through the app. Every attempted, missed and completed call is logged on the app. If users do not want to receive calls, they also have the option to disable the audio-video calling feature, so they never receive unwanted calls.
- Requests – users can make requests to other users or third parties which range from medical expenses, changes in drop off times, to swaps in parenting days.
- Expenses – users can get paid and send payments through the expenses function of the app.
This app has a lot of the hallmarks of OFW and is popular with co-parents looking for a cost-effective solution to their co-parenting challenges. Whilst it does not allow lawyers and other third parties to access the app, it remains a good solution for co-parents looking for a simpler, user-friendly, co-parenting app.
2houses is another co-parenting app that has many features aimed to simplify and overcome shared parenting challenges.
These features include:
- Shared Calendar – co-parents can set up colour-coded parental schedules, manage changes, and enter reoccurring activities. The calendar can be shared with other family members or third parties.
- Finance Management System – co-parents can manage shared expenses which are encoded into categories to help users keep track of expenses.
- Messages – allows co-parents to keep track of all communication. Conversations can be printed out and can never be deleted.
- Information Bank – stores all information relating to contact details and medical information.
Unlike Our Family Wizard, 2houses offers users a 14-day free trial to test their services before committing to a subscription. Further, only one parent must subscribe to a subscription to get access for all family members (this includes two parents, children, third parties, and mediators). Each parent has equal rights on the account, regardless of who pays for the subscription. However, again, the price is steep for the service and will cost users $159 annually. Users are also unable to opt-in and out of the different features to modify this price as it is a flat charge.
Google Calendar is a free, simple-to-use app that might already be on your phone and it is another alternative we recommend. With no locked-in subscription fees, it is a popular alternative for co-parents who just want to keep each other informed and organised when it comes to their children.
You may also find the Mindful Co-parenting Guide: Helping Children Cope with Divorce by Custody X Change, a useful resource to read.
All of these Co-parenting apps do require a level of cooperation from both co-parents, which may prove easy for some ex-spouses who agree on the arrangements in place and are looking for tools to help them stay organised and maintain effective channels of communication. However, if communication is strained between you and your ex-spouse, despite your best efforts, you might still find it difficult to navigate the challenges of co-parenting, particularly if your ex-partner is non-cooperative. If these apps fail to assist you in overcoming these obstacles, remember that help is always available. We recommend emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contacting us on (02) 9437 0010 to discuss your matter with no obligation and in complete confidence.
Have you heard about Parenting Coordination and wondered what it involves?
Parenting Coordination is a child centred process aimed to help separated, divorcing and divorced parents master the often-difficult transition from intimate partner to co-parent. It is a non-confidential child-focused alternative dispute resolution process, particularly suited to parents who have had difficulty resolving child-related disputes. Parenting Coordination is a professional service that offers a safe, collaborative and child-focused environment to support parents in adhering to orders and agreements. A Parenting Coordinator can help you with things like coaching in post-separation communication, implementing your Parenting Plan, reducing conflict and more. At Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers, we have a team of fully qualified and fully trained Parenting Coordinators.
Find out more about how our Parenting Coordination service could help your family here: Parenting Coordination website page.
At Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers we specialise in complex family law matters and are conveniently located in St Leonards, on Sydney’s North Shore. We have a team of accredited and experienced family lawyers available to help guide you through the emotional and financial challenges of separation and divorce. Contact us on (02) 9437 0010 to discuss your matter with no obligation and in complete confidence.
About the Authors:
Lisa Wagner is Managing Director and Principal of Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers. Lisa is an Accredited Family Law specialist holding honours degrees in economics and law. She is also a Collaboratively trained Family Lawyer, a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner, and a Parenting Coordinator. Lisa has over 30 years of experience as a specialist family lawyer, experienced litigator and skilful negotiator in all family law matters; working for the majority of that time in Sydney’s CBD as well as on Sydney’s Lower North Shore and Northern Beaches.
Connect with Lisa on LinkedIn
Zoha Khan is a Family Lawyer at Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers. Zoha has experience advising in a wide range of complex property and high conflict parenting matters. Whilst primarily focusing on family law throughout her career, she also has experience representing clients in commercial litigation and family succession matters, which makes her a valuable addition to the Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers team. In addition to her law credentials, Zoha is an internationally accredited Life Coach, allowing her to connect with her clients at a deeper level and empower them to feel more confident about moving on with their lives and developing a better future. Zoha is currently undertaking a Master of Applied Law (Family Law) at the College of Law.
Connect with Zoha on LinkedIn