Unfortunately, we don’t have a magic wand to make shared parenting arrangements completely stress-free. Co-parenting after separation is often laden with emotion because, after all, you are trying to figure out what’s best for your children. The good news is that there are lots of options out there to help relieve some of that co-parenting stress and conflict. One of those options is co-parenting apps.
The best co-parenting app will depend on your family’s specific needs and wants, and you may choose to use more than one. What is it you’re looking for? Perhaps you want to improve communication between yourself and the other parent. Or maybe you want to be able to set up a co-parenting calendar where you can see which weeks the children might be with you. There is also the issue of costs.
There are many co-parenting apps available, and in this blog, we take a closer look at our top 6 picks.
AppClose is probably the most widely used co-parenting app and comes highly recommended by Family Courts across Australia. One of the most appealing things about AppClose is that it is currently free for parents.
The AppClose co-parenting app offers the following features:
Multi-functional calendars – to help set up and track parenting arrangements.
Communication – allows parents to group chat, call and video call through the app, and export conversations.
Record Keeping - users cannot delete data from the app unless both parents delete their AppClose account. Every attempted, missed and completed call is logged on the app.
Requests – parents can make requests to the other parent or third parties, like changes in handover times or to swap parenting days.
Expenses – parents can make payments and request payments through the expenses function.
Our Family Wizard is another strong option for separated parents. This co-parenting app is comprehensive and comes with a variety of tools aimed at optimising communication between parents. It’s also available in both a desktop and mobile version.
Our Family Wizard’s co-parenting app features include:
Shared calendar – allows parents to establish a shared parenting schedule, track appointments for the children, and request one-time alterations to parenting times.
Messaging – parents can send and receive messages to each other, their lawyers (if access is permitted), their children, and other family members. Communication through the app cannot be deleted.
Tone meter – this is a unique feature of Our Family Wizard and essentially acts like an emotional spell-check. It encourages parents to remain civil by highlighting emotionally charged language as they type. It’s important for separated parents to remember that communication (including texts and emails) may be referred to if your family law matter ends up in the courts.
Diary and journal – you can record observations and notes in the app for your own use or otherwise post family occasions and outings to be shared with other people, including the other parent.
Expenses log – a shared register of parenting expenses.
Information bank – securely stores vital information, including contact details, medical notes, or clothing sizes.
This is probably one of the more costly co-parenting apps on the market. It requires both parents to sign up for an annual subscription starting from $130/year. Our Family Wizard would be suitable for high-conflict families, given the additional Tone Meter feature.
2Houses covers the practicalities of co-parenting with an advanced suite of features. Similar to the other co-parenting apps detailed above, 2Houses’ co-parenting app features include:
Shared calendar – a colour-coded and user-friendly schedule that makes it easy to update changes and add in reoccurring activities. The calendar can be shared with other family members or third parties.
Finance manager – parents can organise shared expenses into categories to help them keep track of expenses.
Messages – like the other apps, 2Houses does not allow for conversations to be deleted by parents.
Access for professionals – a key feature of 2Houses is that, with your consent, family law professionals can have full read-only access to the whole account.
Unlike Our Family Wizard, 2Houses offers a 14-day free trial to parents before they commit to a subscription. It only requires one parent to subscribe to get access to all family members and their family law practitioners. Subscriptions cost $199 a year or $16.58 a month.
MyMob is a free, fun and practical communication tool for separated families to stay connected. MyMob helps separated parents manage schedules and keep focused on the needs of their children.
MyMob co-parenting app features include:
Messaging – featuring a profanity filter to keep parents on track in their communication.
Shared calendar – schedule your co-parenting arrangements with ease.
Virtual fridge – so you can post pictures and messages to the rest of the family, including the other parent, that are displayed on a fridge.
Kids Zone – kids under 12 can create their own safe profile and share photos/messages on the app.
Resources –create a set of resources for children and parents about relationship challenges and parenting.
The MyMob app is currently free.
The TalkingParents co-parenting app aims to focus parents on the well-being of their children by making communication easy and transparent. Some of the features of the app include:
Communication – all communication through the TalkingParents app is recorded, kept and can’t be edited. For premium subscribers, video calls can be made without disclosing phone numbers. These calls are automatically recorded and transcribed to help keep parents accountable.
Payment and expense tracking – easily track shared parenting expenses and request payments from the other parent.
Vault storage – keep any videos, images or other files in your own personal storage area of the app.
Talking Parents does offer a website-access-only free package which has limited features. Otherwise, the app is available in either a basic ($9.99 USD) or premium ($24.99 USD) per month package.
WeParent can help separated parents with time management and reducing conflict. This co-parenting app offers a range of features to help with parenting, including:
Secure messaging – messages are private and only able to be viewed by the people in each message thread. Parents can have multiple message threads with additional people in each thread, including extended family, for example, grandparents, who help with care).
Information storing – lists, contact information, and notes are ways you can keep track of information within the app.
Documents – parents can upload any relevant documents to the library section of the app. For example, instructions on how to administer prescription medication.
Calendar – parents can input appointments and events into their calendar, as well as manage their care arrangement schedule.
WeParent requires one subscription from a “founding” parent and also provides a free 14-day trial. After the trial ends, parents can choose between a number of payment plans: Monthly - $9.99, Annual - $99.99, or Lifetime $199.99. These prices are all in USD.
It doesn’t matter if you’re recently separated, finding it difficult to communicate with your ex, or you’re just looking to make your life easier; these co-parenting apps can help manage all types of parental conflict to keep it away from young ears and eyes.
With many co-parenting apps on the market, it’s important to focus on which app fits your family’s needs. You may even use more than one app at the same time if one app alone doesn’t meet all of your criteria.
If you’re separated and looking for advice or assistance about parenting arrangements, we have a team of family lawyers who can help make your separation and future parenting journey a lot easier. We can assist with parenting plans or parenting orders for your unique circumstances.
Family Lawyers Perth & Sydney
The information contained in this article is of general nature and should not be construed as legal advice. If you require further information, advice or assistance for your specific circumstances, please contact Meillon & Bright Family Lawyers.