Parenting is arguably the toughest job on the planet. Not only can providing basics like food, shelter, and clothing be a financial challenge for many, but meeting a child’s developing emotional needs can be stressful even in the best circumstances. And when family situations change dramatically through separation or divorce, parenting responsibilities get even harder. Suddenly, families are usually split between two homes, and time, money, and responsibilities are divided. Not to mention the differences in parenting styles, accountability, and income, which often lead to heated arguments and possibly even court battles.
To combat some of the conflict between exes, some co-parents are turning to their smartphone for help. Apps like coParenter, Talking Parents, OurFamilyWizard, coparently, and AppClose are helping divorcees tackle many unique parenting issues that arise among split-household families. Whether you and your ex struggle with shared parental responsibilities or you usually keep it cordial, consider these five reasons a co-parenting app may make your life easier.
- Sidestep conflict.
Parenting with an ex can be messy, especially when you don’t always see eye-to-eye. Arguments can easily escalate to full-blown courtroom battles, not only costing you money but zapping precious energy and time away from your children. Arguably the biggest benefit of a co-parenting smartphone app is its ability to keep heated exchanges with your ex at bay. With direct messaging right through the app, all communication is automatically documented, and cannot be edited or deleted. Messaging files can even be exported to your legal team and used in court if needed. Some apps even flag your messages for inflammatory language or phrases, allowing you to rethink your response before you hit send. Also, knowing all your messages are recorded and viewable by others reminds both co-parents to stay civil.
- Get organized.
With your child or children going between two homes, it’s easy for schedules and parenting time to get tangled. Most co-parenting apps have a shared calendar to keep you and your ex on the same page about your child’s practices, games, lessons, appointments, and vacations. A central info feature also lets you input important info like school, pediatrician, and dentist contact details into one easy-to-find location. Some applications even let you upload a picture of your child’s health insurance card for quick access.
- Confirm your accountability.
Even with the best intentions, sometimes important disagreements with your ex need to go to the next level. If you end up in court, having sound documentation of your communications can mean the difference between losing parental rights and saving them. That’s where a co-parenting app helps. Not only are messages documented in the app and sent to your legal team, but some applications feature a journal area to record observations, odd behavior, and key conversations. Also, you can document your timely pick-ups and drop-offs, in case your responsibility ever comes into question.
- Track shared expenses.
Soccer uniforms, after-school clubs, dance recitals, piano lessons, and new shoes. It’s no secret children are expensive. No wonder money is a hot area of conflict among parents, even with court orders in place. Most co-parenting apps let you manage your parenting costs, upload receipts for transactions, and keep both you and your ex accountable. Some even have built-in money transfer options right from the app.
- Get professional help.
Even with all these app features, co-parenting is a challenge, and sometimes arguments still break out. If the clash with your ex escalates, you could find yourself back in front of a judge if you’re not careful. The courts have their rightful place in these matters, but often these squabbles could be settled outside the court system, saving you significant money, stress, and time. Some co-parenting apps provide access to legal coaching and mediators. While these services come at a fee, their cost is likely much less than an ugly court battle.
Whatever your co-parenting situation, we know you simply want to be a good parent. And truly one of the best things you can do for your family is to establish a more harmonious co-parenting relationship with your ex. Whether you’re struggling through a divorce or just need advice for your unique family law situation, we’re here to help. Reach out to Cecelia Neihouser Harper at 765-637-9175.
The content of this blog is intended to be general and informational in nature. It is advertising material and is not intended to be, nor is it, legal advice to or for any particular person, case, or circumstance. Each situation is different, and you should consult an attorney if you have any questions about your situation.