Co-parenting Children After Separation or Divorce
Even if you are fortunate enough to be in the category of couples who are able to maintain a positive co-parenting post-separation, going through a separation or divorce is never going to be easy and will take time to adjust to your new normal. The initial period after separation is often the hardest period, particularly when there are unsettled questions about parenting arrangements, outstanding financial matters to be settled and new living arrangements to get used to.
In a time filled with significant changes, uncertainty and often tension, it is unsurprising that many couples find themselves arguing about their family or financial circumstances post-separation. While mediation can often be the key to resolving some of the bigger picture items – such as the division of assets or the living arrangements for the children – parents are often left with challenges about the day-to-day communication issues with respect to the children and child support. Fortunately, in this day and age, there are a number of resources online to help parents get on the same page about parenting their children post-separation, such as the Triple P Parenting Program (available through providers such as Uniting Care, Relationships Australia and Centacare) and for everyday communication, there are also a number of apps available for parents to utilise.
Using technology and apps to better manage co-parenting
This article looks at some of the apps that exist on the market for separated couples who co-parent their children. Co-parenting apps aim to make it easy to track the children’s living arrangements, who is liable and/or contributing financially, family calendars and can even go as far as planning visits for grandparents and other family members.
Our Family Wizard
Our Family Wizard was designed and championed by a separated couple seeking better ways to communicate and share information about their children. This app aims to provide parents with a more streamlined way to manage all of the details that come with shared parenting through utilising a shared parenting calendar, message board, info bank (where contact details, school schedules and medical information can be shared) and expenses log (to track medical expenses, child support and payment for private school fees).
Availability: Web, iOS, Android
Cost: Free app download but subscription required for use ($99 per parent per year)
2Houses also provides a calendar to manage custody and events, share information about school schedules or appointments for the children, photo album sharing, to-do and shopping lists. 2Houses also provides an expense functionality to manage expenses directly related to children.
Availability: Web, iOS
Kidganizer also provides parents with a shared calendar, expenses management tab, and alerts about important events and appointments for the children. It also allows other agreed parties to access the app, such as nannies and grandparents.
Custody Junction provides parents with both a Scheduling Centre (for week to week, holiday and special events), a Tracking Centre but is also able to produce reports to parents about actual time spent with each parent, children’s attendance at school and accumulated expenses.
Cost: Free 30 day trial/$47 one year subscription
Cozi, also known as the “Family Organiser” offers a suite of tools that help parents manage their children across two homes including family calendars, shared shopping lists, a family journal and the importation of extra-curricular activity schedules.
Availability: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry
While all of the above apps can be a useful tool for managing and sharing day-to-day information and events about children post-separation, they should be used responsibly, appropriately and with some degree of caution, particularly for those in litigation, as it creates a written record of what a parent has said, done or failed to do.
Damien Greer Lawyers, one of Queensland’s leading family law firms offer a full range of family legal services for those undergoing separation or divorce including mediation, arbitration and collaborative law. Please contact our team to discuss how we can help or call 3837 5500.