July 11th, 2022
It seems like it should be an easy sell—what co-parent hasn’t wished for a solution that makes co-parenting easier? Co-parenting apps help divorced or separated parents co-parent more effectively and efficiently—and with less conflict. That’s something everyone wants.
Still, some co-parents resist the idea. But they have some fair questions. I’ve unearthed the top 5 reasons reluctant co-parents bring up when they don’t want to use a co-parenting app—and have responses to each objection.
When co-parents work together well, children are more likely to thrive emotionally, mentally, and physically, even well into their adult lives. It’s a conversation worth having.
What does a co-parenting app do?
The first step: Make it crystal clear what a co-parenting app does.
Every app is different, but most have some or all of these standard features.
A messaging system you can use to communicate with your co-parent. Usually, you can’t edit or delete messages, so they are stored permanently.
A shared calendar that you, your co-parent, and often other childcare providers can all view. This keeps everyone on the same page, preventing mix-ups and encouraging reliability.
A way to manage expenses and reimbursements, and sometimes even a way to pay through the app to keep things simple.
A way to share and store pictures and basic information about your kids, like shoe sizes and medical records.
Some apps also allow GPS check-ins, journal entries, and easily downloadable reports. Some apps also let you grant access to your family law professionals, like attorneys and mediators, so they too can view app activity and download reports as needed.
Overall, the goal is to simplify the co-parenting life.
But what if your co-parent knows the basics about co-parenting apps—and still has objections? Come to the discussion prepared with the following responses to these common questions.
1. So, I should use a co-parenting app just because you want to?
A co-parenting app doesn’t just benefit the parent who comes up with the idea. It makes both parents’ lives easier, equally. The app tracks the tconversationsruth, coordinates the calendar, simplifies expenses, and streamlines many other things that both parents have to deal with.
But ultimately, using the app is a good idea because it improves the kids’ lives. For example, having a shared co-parenting calendar makes the adults more likely to stick to the schedule without any hiccups. This way, the kids can feel secure because they always know what will happen and who will take care of them.
And with a password-protected messaging system, kids don’t see or hear any contentious discussions—which protects their mental health and overall development.
Every feature in a co-parenting app is designed to improve the kids’ experience of being co-parented. Really, it’s not about either co-parent. It’s about coming together for the ones you both love.
2. Why should I use yet another app?
A co-parenting app doesn’t add to your workload—it lightens it. The app consolidates the many different elements of co-parenting, and it gives you the simplest, most direct way to handle them.
You don’t need to coordinate emails, texts, a payment app, a budgeting app, a calendar app, and a document app—and you don’t need to record or remember what happened where.
Instead, if you need to do something related to co-parenting, you go to the co-parenting app and there it is, along with a template or a tool ready to accomplish the exact task you have in mind.
If you need to exchange some parenting time, for example, you can use a feature like OurFamilyWizard’s Trade/Swap™ tool. You don’t even need a full-blown conversation; just send the request, and if it’s accepted, the calendar automatically updates.
3. Why should I pay for a co-parenting app?
Many co-parenting apps charge a subscription fee for full access to all features. But the sticker price is not the whole story—using an app can help save you from future legal fees, which can be significantly steeper.
Easier communication and coordination can keep you out of court completely—the ideal scenario. But if you do need to return to the legal system, you or your lawyer can quickly review and download reports from your account. This means you don’t need to painstakingly gather messages and other info, and your lawyer doesn’t need to bill you for hours spent organizing a comprehensive report, either.
That’s just one way a co-parenting app saves you time. For another example, these apps help you coordinate all your childcare providers with the same calendar, which simplifies schedule management.
Best of all, a co-parenting app can help you and your co-parent stay on top of your child’s day-to-day life, even if you both can’t be with them every single day. That’s priceless.
4. Why not use free tools, like email and texting?
Co-parenting apps were (of course) specifically designed for co-parenting. As a result, they give you a smoother and more comprehensive experience.
But perhaps most importantly, co-parenting apps keep your information secure. Messages can’t be edited or deleted, so once a co-parent sends a message, it’s a part of the permanent record. (Unlike iMessage, which is rolling out an un-send feature.) Most apps also offer first-viewed timestamps, too. There’s little room for arguing over who said what, when, and whether your co-parent saw the message.
WhetherIf you’re taking care of day-to-day needs or returning to mediation, an app designed for your situation is going to make your life easier.
5. Who controls the app? Or, What if my co-parent is more tech- savvy than I am?
Nobody controls the app—it’s completely neutral. Each co-parent has equal access and equal, shared management. There’s no room for manipulation when both sides can see a full and accurate history of all app activity.
One of the best things about a co-parenting app is that it simply reflects the facts.
Most co-parenting apps are designed to be easy to use. And the documentation features are usually foolproof. No matter how tech-savvy you are, you can’t alter or remove sent messages or disguise any other records. And no matter how tech savvy you aren’t, it’s easy to download a comprehensive or customized report.
A co-parenting app helps you be a good co-parent
At the end of the day, it’s about the kids. The easier it is for you to manage the practical aspects of co-parenting, the more you can focus on the things that matter most—like loving your children and raising them to be healthy, well-adjusted humans.
Everyone benefits from clearer communication and smoother coordination. Everyone feels better and functions better when there’s less conflict. But the biggest winners are the kids.
They deserve their parents’ best attempt to co-parent successfully, and a co-parenting appcan make a tremendous difference.
Elle Barr is an experienced family law attorney with a deep commitment to serving children and families. She has experience representing clients in all family law matters, with an emphasis on serving as a court appointed GAL in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Elle’s empathizing nature allows her to build a strong trusting relationship with clients, ultimately leading to a more comprehensive understanding of each particular situation. Clients value her logical thinking, kindness, and unwavering commitment.
Elle also serves as the Judicial Education Coordinator for OurFamilyWizard. In this role, she educates judges, lawyers, and other family law professionals on the online tools that are used to reduce conflict and increase accountability in high-conflict co-parenting situations.