Are you co-parenting?
Well, there’s an app for that.
As technology has continuously evolved, an app for anything and everything you can think of has been created, including co-parenting (and parenting in general).
However, while having the option of using a co-parenting app to aid in your parenting is wonderful, there are a lot of different co-parenting apps and apps for separated parents.
To help narrow down your options, we’ve put together a list of 5 co-parenting apps that are commonly used in Australia, and throughout the world, and highlighted their features and benefits.
So, whether you’re recently separated, you’ve hit a wall in your co-parenting journey, or you’re just ready to make your life easier, keep reading to learn about these parenting apps and the benefits of using them.
Should I use an app for co-parenting?
Whether an app is right for you and your co-parent is entirely dependent on your unique circumstances, however, given the prevalence of smartphones and technology in general, there are a number of advantages in using an app for co-parenting.
Benefits of co-parenting apps:
- Communication in one place. Most apps have been designed to facilitate better communication, which is why in addition to including calendars, a lot of the apps will also include messaging services. If you and your co-parent decide to use an app, communicating through the app means that you both know that you only need to look in one place for communication from them, rather than standard texts, phone calls, or emails.
- You can communicate effectively without having to talk as much. The features of many of the great co-parenting apps allow you to not only have a place to communicate without confusion, but also communicate about all sorts of things without necessarily having to communicate directly. You can track expenses, request payments, share photos and maintain a schedule without having to call or text directly.
- Not just for the co-parents. A lot of the better co-parenting apps can be shared with children, other family members and various third parties, like lawyers and mediators. This allows for you to organise information with more people, including important details like allergy and medical information.
- Record keeping. A great feature you will see common throughout our list of the best co-parenting apps, is that they allow for record keeping. You can keep files in one place and information usually cannot be edited, so you can keep accurate records.
Co-parenting apps to make parenting easier
App: 2 Houses
The aim of the 2houses app is to help separated parents communicate to become organised for their child’s wellbeing and is used all over the world – in 170 countries.
The app’s founder had previously experienced a separation of his own and found that many of the tools and resources available were designed to help parents who were still together to manage their parenting and were not necessarily optimised to aid separated parents.
The app includes a variety of features that facilitate the organisation of schedules and financial information, without the need for direct communication. Some of these features include:
- Calendar: an interactive calendar that allows for sharing and synchronisation. Each parent can access and update the calendar to manage and hopefully avoid time clashes.
- Child expenses management: you can manage the expenses related to your child through the app. You can input various expenses and allocate to each parent, send payment invitations to one another, talk about potential future purchases, and keep track of expenses and payments.
- Messaging: You can complete all communication in the app with the messaging tool. Conversations can be between parents, parent and child or parent and mediator. All conversations can be exported and archived.
- Information Bank: you can share details about your child, such as medical information, vaccinations, bank information and various other documents that each parent may need access to.
- Photo albums: you can share pictures on the app so each parent can see what the children have been up to.
- Control access: as the app can be shared with and used by children and people other than the co-parents, access levels can be specified for each person.
The app only requires one subscription, with the subscriber able to send access invitations to all relevant parties.
You can try the app with a free 14-day trial available. The trial offers full access to all features. Once the trial period is over, you can choose to pay either monthly, annual or lifetime – up to date pricing information is available here.
App: Our Family Wizard
Claimed to be the leading app for peaceful co-parenting, the Our Family Wizard app has a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 from over 78,000 reviews.
The aim of the app is to help parents streamline various parenting duties, like scheduling, managing expenses and communicate, as well as help to overcome any custody challenges that may arise a lot faster and with less confusion.
A court approved app, Our Family Wizard has a number of features that can benefit your co-parenting relationship, including:
- Calendar: The calendar allows for parents to plan their schedules and deal with potential clashes easily. You can share appointment details, add information to the calendar, take advantage of the holiday scheduler, and submit requests for any changes that may be required.
- Message Board and Tone Meter™: The messaging system in the app allows for not only simple communication in one place, but it also keeps record of this communication, with messages unable to be deleted, edited or retracted. Communication can also be made easier with the ToneMeter™ which will flag any text that could have certain connotations, thus reducing the chances of conflict.
- Journal: The journal section of the app acts a diary and family album hybrid. You can post pictures and information about what your children have been up to, but it can also be used to promote accountability, with a check-in feature where you can show your whereabouts.
- Expense Log: You can track shared expense information using the expense log function. For each expense added to the app, the person adding the expense will be required to provide the same information, including categorising the expense. The app will then show how much each parent owes based on the category the expense falls into.
- Info Bank: You can keep track of emergency contact details, schooling information, files and various other things that both parents may need access to at some point.
The app’s access is able to be shared with co-parents, children, family members and professional practitioners. It can also be used on Apple, Android and Kindle Fire Devices.
Each parent needs to activate a subscription with children and third parties able to have free accounts attached to the parents. There are a range of app packages you can choose from, which you can read about here. The app comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, so you can try the app risk-free.
Originally designed to help divorced and separated parents to co-parent effectively, the WeParent app has now been updated to support all kinds of family types to aid in making parenting easier.
With families coming in all shapes, sizes and styles, like divorced, separated, blended, and married, keeping on top of what everyone has going on can be difficult.
WeParent offers a variety of features to help with parenting and future planning, including:
- Secure Messaging: The messaging platform in the WeParent app has been designed to allow for effective communication and accurate record keeping. Messages are private and only able to be viewed by the people involved in each message thread. People can have multiple message threads, with more than one other person in them. Messages cannot be edited or deleted once sent.
- Lists, Contacts, and Notes: You can keep track of information with lists, contact information and notes available. This is helpful for documenting any incidences or just to keep everyone on the same page.
- Documents and Photos: Photos and documents can be uploaded to the library section of the app. You can share photos of your children with one another, as well as have access to the important documents you may need.
- Calendar: The interactive calendar allows for both parents to input appointments and events. This can include things like doctors’ appointments and after-school activities.
- Custody Scheduler: you can manage custody schedules using this app too. You can either create your own custom ones and categorise it as a regular ongoing schedule, seasonal, holidays, travel or one-off changes. The app also includes custody schedule templates that can be used to input your schedule.
Access to the app can be shared with other people, including your children (if they area aged 13 or older).
The app requires one subscription, with the “founding” parent (the parent who downloaded the app), inviting the other required users for free. The app provides a free 14 day trial and after the free trial, you can pay either a monthly, annual, or lifetime fee for its use. Find out more about the current costs here.
App: Talking Parents
The goal of Talking Parents is to allow both parents to focus on the wellbeing of their child by providing a platform that makes communication easy and transparent, ultimately, improving the accountability of both parents.
The app was founded by an attorney who ran his own criminal defense and family law firm where he often witnessed ineffective communication between parents, as well as a lack of resources that helped with reliable record keeping.
The various features of the app means that the battle of who said what, as well as the general coordination of co-parenting, could be made a lot easier to resolve. Some of the features of the app include:
- Accountable communication: all communication done via the app is recorded and kept, without the ability to edit or retract the communication. This means that all communication is accounted for, even when phone calls or video calls are unanswered.
- Payment and expense tracking: shared parenting expenses are easily able to be tracked. You can make payment requests to your co-parent and even securely send and receive payments.
- Shared Calendars: You can coordinate schedules and appointments using the interactive calendar. You can colour coordinate events, add a custody schedule, as well as once off events and appointments.
- Vault storage: You can keep videos, images, and various files in your own personal storage area of the app.
- Unalterable record keeping: All actions taken in the app are recorded, and these records cannot be altered, which means they can be used as evidence if necessary.
- Info library and file sharing: You can information like allergy details and emergency contacts, as well as share various files to make parenting a lot easier.
While the app has been designed to provide transparency and improve communication, it also focuses on privacy, and you can match with your coparent on the app without having to share your personal details with them, like your phone number.
The app is available in a variety of plans. If you just wish to use the website, it’s free, otherwise, if you would prefer the app you can choose between a standard and premium version of the app – each option has a 30-day free trial available. Pricing information is available here.
Touted as the family assistant, this app has been designed for use by families of kinds, rather than specifically for separated or divorced parents.
It allows you to manage your family’s day-to-day schedules as well as plan in advance. As it hasn’t been specifically designed for separated parents, it is likely to be best for those who do have quite an amicable relationship as there are some features missing compared to some of the other apps we’ve listed today.
We’ve included this one on the list of co-parenting apps because it offers a lot of different organisation tools and families do come in all shapes and sizes.
Some of the features you’ll find on the FamilyWall app include:
- Shared Calendar: Everyone’s schedules can be managed through the shared calendar. Able to be synchronised with other calendars, you can add appointments, events and various other information into the calendar.
- Budgeting: The app includes a budgeting feature that allows you to keep track of expenses and bills, and organise money with friends and family.
- Messaging: You can send texts, voice, phone and video messages to other family members using the instant messaging service in the app.
- Real Time Family Locators: You can keep track of family member locations, such as your children when they are outside. They will need a device for this feature, but you can also get notifications when your child arrives at home, school, or any other location you wish to know about.
- Shopping, Meals, and To-Do Lists: You can make a variety of different lists in the app to make sure you never forget anything again. You can also plan meals and create shopping lists using the app too.
As we mentioned before, the app has been designed to aid in family communication and scheduling in general, so is more suited to co-parents who get along well and just need some help keeping track of their schedules.
Family Wall is available as either a standard or premium service. The standard service is free of charge, while the premium option is relatively low cost and billed annually. See pricing information here.
Do you need help with your co-parenting journey?
Whether you’re already separated or you’re only beginning to think about it now, you have a lot of decisions to make for your future – especially if you have children. These decisions can be difficult and confusing, which is where we come in.
We have a team of family lawyers at Unified Lawyers who can provide you with legal advice and assistance to help make your separation and future parenting journey a lot easier. Whether you need to discuss child custody matters or figure out how to divide your assets after a separation, our experienced family law team is here for you.
Call us today on 1300 667 461 or book a free consultation using the button below.