Communicating with an ex is difficult, especially when kids are involved. But as responsible parents you have to find ways to co-parent effectively, peacefully, and to the best of your ability (if it's safe to do so, of course). Luckily, technology has made it easier for separated co-parents to share parenting responsibilities and communicate effectively. So if you haven't already downloaded any of the apps that make co-parenting easier, you're missing out.
According to the United States Census Bureau, 23 percent of American children live with a single mother. That number has nearly tripled since 1960. And while the majority of children still live in a house with two parents — a reported 73.7 million children under the age of 18 — according to the American Psychological Association 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States end up divorced.
In other words, divorce is a common experience for many couples and parents. And while co-parenting isn't always safe (for example, in cases of abuse or neglect or if one parent is unfit), it's often the best option for parents who want to create a stable childhood for their children. Of course, co-parenting is easier said than done (whether you're married or not) which is why it's worth looking at ways technology can help parents out. So with that in mind, here are some apps that can aid separated parents in being their best selves for their children:
Our Family Wizard
Our Family Wizard is designed with co-parents in mind. With an all-in-one calendar, expense view, and parenting agreements, you can manage everything completely online. If you're an Apple and Android user you'll have access to tools to help communicate shared custody calendars, visitation schedules, messaging, and more. The app is so useful, the site claims judges in over 45 U.S states and four Canadian provinces have recommended the app to families.
2 Houses allows co-parents to share photos, videos, and more. For split houses where children are going between two houses (hence the name), parents can manage children's expenses and co-parenting schedules so everyone's on the same page. The app is also available for Android and Apple phones.
Coparently is great for the parents who might have had communication issues in the past, as the app advocates for better communication through the easy-to use calendar. You can also track shared expenses and keep contact info and medical records up-to-date. Kids can be added for their communication ease without going between parents.
Talking Parents uses an online system-of-record for co-parents who have to show proof of communication between parties to prevent further conflict or misunderstanding that may affect custody agreements or the children. While the app itself is free, downloading those communication records are $4 per download, or $4 per month.