Many co-parents now use an online app to aid in communication regarding their minor children. There are several available, including, but not limited to, Our Family Wizard, Talking Parents, AppClose, and 2houses. Some of these are free, while others have an annual fee. Typically the fee is around $99 to $120 per year per user. Often the free apps carry fees if co-parents want to print the communication.
There are many benefits to these apps. For one, it keeps all communication together in a form that neither party can edit. Therefore, it can be very useful in “he said/she said” court disputes. Most, if not all of these, alert the user when a new message has been sent so that the user knows to log on and respond.
Another useful benefit to these communication apps is that they offer a central calendar for co-parents. Users can put their custody schedule, vacations, and holidays on this calendar. Additionally, co-parents can put appointments for the children, schedules for children’s extracurricular activities, and any special events on the calendar. Maintaining this calendar eliminates disputes about whether one party is informed of an event or appointment pertaining to the child.
A useful feature that is offered by at least some of these co-parenting apps is tracking of invoices regarding the children. Typically, co-parents will split certain expenses for the children, including, but not limited to, medical co-pays and agreed-upon extracurricular activities. A user can upload an invoice, and it can be marked as paid when the other parent has reimbursed his/her portion. This can make it easy for both parents to keep track of balances owed. Additionally, if one user has to take the other back to Court for non-payment of expenses, this log will be invaluable in proving what is owed and will drastically cut down on the time necessary to accumulate documentation of expenses owed.
The Court will often suggest the use of a co-parenting app when parents are having difficulty communicating with one another, which happens in most cases that wind up before the Judge. For co-parents who are actively involved with their child(ren) but do not always get along with the other parent, a co-parenting app such as that described is at least worth investigating.