Technology and apps have come a long way in assisting in co-parenting. Co-parenting apps can provide an essential tool to aid in communication and scheduling. Some also offer secure messaging, which is useful in high-conflict custody situations.
If you are in a high-conflict custody situation where you have experienced a lot of litigation, it can be very difficult to cobble together emails and text messages etc. to prove who said what when, so the messaging feature would be especially useful to you. Additionally, the app shows what information was shared and when so there is an automatic record.
Here are a few options:
1. Google Calendar
Benefits: Can create a shared calendar specifically for co-parenting issues, while also having a work or personal calendar that only you can see right on your Google calendar app on your phone. Parents can share scheduling information, extra-curricular activities, and doctor’s appointments. You can also create a recurring event for visitation schedules, so you will always know whose weekend it is.
Drawbacks: No messaging, no ability to upload documents such as expense information.
2. Our Family Wizard
Cost: $99 per year, per parent
Benefits: Has all of the calendar features of Google calendar, with the added features of secure messaging and the ability to upload expenses that need to be reimbursed such as medical bills. You can also store family information such as immunization records and insurance cards. The use of Our Family Wizard has been ordered by courts all over the United States, so it is widely considered a reliable record for communications scheduling and expenses.
Drawbacks: For cash-strapped parents, the cost can be prohibitive. Amazon indicates a lot of 1 star reviews with complaints about the app crashing, not very user friendly, and not worth the money.
Benefits: Provides all the calendar features of Google and Our Family Wizard, has secure messaging, sharing and exporting of records, and incorporated expense reimbursement through the app itself. This app has scheduling templates or you can fully customize your schedule. Online reviews are excellent and indicate that this app is very user-friendly.
Drawbacks: This app is relatively new compared to the other options, so other parents, courts, or attorneys may be more resistant or skeptical of using it.