Article written by Axis Geffen
Co-parenting can feel overwhelming. Between juggling appointments, managing expenses, and trying to communicate with your Ex, it doesn't come easy. Luckily, in a digital world, there are tools available to ease your co-parenting relationship. In the following article, we will review some popular apps that might have the potential to transform your co-parenting journey.
If all your co-parenting relationship is missing is an organized calendar, you may consider using an app like Teamup. It was originally developed for tracking business schedules, and the free version allows up to 8 people to coordinate schedules and perform the basic communication tasks required. Teamup is a simple tool to track when it's your turn to take the kids to soccer practice, or else pick them up from school. This app can certainly add organization to an otherwise chaotic schedule.
Each co-parenting relationship is different and comes with its own unique needs. Therefore, if you're looking for a more comprehensive app, AppClose might be a better option. Like Teamup, AppClose is available for free. Offering a variety of features for every day life, enjoy a colour-coded calendar, built-in messaging, expense tracking, the ability to make audio/video calls and so much more.
If you and your co-parent are still navigating legal proceedings, AppClose can also help. Able to export records for almost anything you do on the app, track audio/video communications (without recording location), send and scan documents, as well as request payments; there isn't much this app can't do.
If you are one of those people that doesn't trust "free," you aren't alone. Offering similar features to AppClose, OurFamilyWizard is a paid co-parenting app you might want to consider. Offering a 1 or 2 year term, payment options can vary from $149.99 US (1 year basic) to $396 US (2 year premium). Beyond what AppClose offers, OurFamilyWizard also features a Tone Meter to help monitor communications between you and your co-parent. As well, there is a private journal feature and a GPS tracker for pickups and drop offs. Lastly, you can even request unlimited certified and notarized records to be used in court.
Another paid app that can help your co-parenting journey is 2Houses. A Canadian developed app, you can access all of its features for $199.99 CAD per year. As with all the previously mentioned apps, 2Houses has similar features. This includes a calendar, as well as a journal, and an in-app messaging platform. Beyond these perks, you can also use this app to help track and split expenses between parents. This works by letting each parent input their expenses, and the app then keeps track of the fair amount due between the co-parents. Finally, 2Houses can also store your child's private information such as banking, medical or other documents.
Each co-parenting relationship is different and comes with its own unique needs. While each of these apps offer benefits, it is up to you to decide what is best for you and your family.
Before downloading any apps, it is important to note that none of the apps reviewed indicated how data was collected, stored, or shared. While there were some vague indications that data was "secure," you should always be cautious of how and where you are putting your information. (If someone says the information is "cloud-based," run!)
While reviewing apps, one stood out to NOT recommend. A paid app called coParenter, they share minimal information about themselves and come with a complex and hidden pricing model. They do not provide examples of their features, and it suggests you can use the app to draft Legal Agreements which is a major red flag.
Like any technology, the majority of these apps can improve your day-to-day management of key tasks. That being said, you will still need to do your homework to ensure the product fits your needs.
While the apps discussed in this article can benefit you and your family, the main downfall for them all is that they do not allow calls to be recorded or videos to be saved. Therefore, while records may be exported and valuable for written communication, it is recommended to use a third-party recording device for phone and video calls. Learn more in our article, Call Recording Legally After Android 8.1.