It can be hard to co-parent after you are no longer together. Courts and laws generally require co-parents to communicate about their joint minor children on at least some level. A conversation with your ex about your child’s schooling or medical treatment can easily turn into an argument and re-open old wounds that may have caused your relationship to end in the first place. 

If co-parenting conversations have caused you frustration or anxiety, it might be time to consider using a co-parenting digital application to communicate with your co-parent.

If there was domestic violence during your relationship, a co-parenting digital application can also be useful to create healthy boundaries with your former partner and maintain a record of co-parenting communications. 

What is a Co-Parenting App?

A number of companies have developed digital smartphone applications to help separated or divorced parents co-parent and keep each other informed about their shared children. They can help parents communicate easily and efficiently with the other parent and minimize opportunities for conflict.

Generally these apps include a “messenger” function as well as other helpful co-parenting tools. Some apps include calendaring features to help keep track of your child’s activities or the parenting time schedule. Others include expense trackers to help parents divide costs and request reimbursements from the other parent. Many apps include a feature where you can list all of the child’s educational, child care, medical providers, and their contact information, making this information easily accessible to both parents without having to communicate directly.

Many co-parenting applications also create a permanent record of all communications with the other parent through the app, which can be easily downloaded. Being able to preserve, download, and print your communications with your ex can be incredibly useful during any ongoing or future court cases.. 

How Much Do These Apps Cost?

Co-parenting apps vary in cost. Some are free, others require a one-time fee, and some require an ongoing subscription. Certain apps also offer add-on functions for an additional price. Some of the more expensive apps allow low-income users to apply for a fee waiver.

Do These Apps Have Any Drawbacks?

You should always review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy of these kinds of apps before downloading or buying them. This is especially true if you plan to share personal data through the app, such as your child’s schedule or billing information. Before creating an account, you should know what data the app collects and whether they will share it with your co-parent or with other parties.

These apps may be unnecessary for co-parents who have been able to successfully work together to co-parent. If you and your ex are able to discuss important matters with each other without much conflict, you can probably continue to work together without the help of an app.

There are also some parenting issues that an app cannot fix. If your ex is threatening you or your child, or you have not been able to come to important agreements about your child’s care, you need more help than an app has to offer. Instead, it might be time to consider speaking to a lawyer.

Need help?

If you want to discuss your current co-parenting relationship with an attorney, call The Commons Law Center at 503-850-0811 or email us at hello@thecommonslawcenter.org. We can help you evaluate your situation and determine whether legal action might be appropriate.

About the author 

Elise Hampton

Elise Hampton is a staff attorney at The Commons Law Center focused on Family Law, Asset Preservation, and Small Business Law.

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