Managing the logistics of parenting is hard enough when you share a house with your partner. It gets even more complicated when
you and your co-parent live separately. From birthday parties to swim meets, school events to babysitters — not to mention budgets — there are so many details to keep track of, and so many forums on which to communicate. You might get an email about a daycare closure, a text about drop-off time, and a call from your co-parent asking to switch days. It's so easy for super important details to get lost in the shuffle. Fortunately, these brilliant co-parenting apps can help communication happen more smoothly and with little room left for dreaded miscommunications.
divorce rate has actually dropped slightly in the last decade. Data from the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) indicated that about 2.3 persons per 1,000 people got divorced in 2020. That may seem low, but keep in mind the marriage rate for the same amount of people in the same timeframe was just 5.1, which puts the divorce rate somewhere around 45%.
Not all divorced couples have children, but the figure also doesn’t take into account children with parents who live separately and were never married. Put simply, there are a lot of people out there who are co-parenting with someone they don’t live with. These co-parenting apps are not magic wands — they don’t promise that you to never again lose your temper at your co-parent again. But, a smart co-parenting app may make your life just a little bit easier and a little less stressful, so you can both enjoy the precious time you spend with your kids.
1 WeParent WeParent takes a holistic view of co-parenting and understands that managing daily logistics is infinitely more complicated when you and your co-parent live in different houses, and may not enjoy speaking to each other. This co-parenting app helps you manage every part of the process including the custody schedule, events, document sharing, and expenses. WeParent founder, Elena Krasnoperova, has a Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University and explains that, “in creating our app, I based it on extensive psychological research on the impact of divorce on kids. Our goal is to reduce stress and conflict in divorced parents' relationships, allowing them to focus their energies on what really matters - raising healthy, happy kids.”
Cost: Free for 14 days, then $9.99 per month, $99.99 per year or $199.99 for lifetime for the entire family.
2 Custody Connection
If your co-parent is always bailing at the last minute or wanting to take the kids on days that they’re not assigned,
Custody Connection can be really helpful. It eliminates the need for back-and-forth texting or emailing. Instead, all communication is in-app. There’s a spot for receiving and approving trade requests, plus a centralized calendar, and important info about your kid, including doctor contact info. Reviewers mentioned that this is helpful for grandparents and other family members too. If Grandma wants to have the kids over for dinner or go visit, she can simply check the app to see when they’re with the parent they need to plan with.
Cost: Free to download with in-app purchases. Currently only available for iPhone
It’s hard to think of a feature you’d want for a co-parenting app that
CoParently hasn’t considered. The app offers a set of digital tools that help make parenting with someone you don’t live with (and may not enjoy communicating with) as seamless as possible.
There’s a color-coded calendar that keeps track of which parent a kid is with each day (and you can signify half days for transitions), plus any appointments or places the child needs to be. There’s also a communication tool that’s child-focused and designed to reduce conflict. Conversations are clearly time-stamped, and you can upload photos or files as needed. There’s also an option to loop in nannies, caregivers, grandparents, or anyone else who needs to know what’s going on. This app helps keep track of shared expenses and payments, and has a place for shared contacts.
Cost: Free for 30 days, then $99 per year or $9.99 per month per parent.
4 2houses 2houses, an app used by over 160,000 families in 163 countries, offers a custody calendar that is fully customized to your specific arrangement. For those last minute schedule changes that inevitably pop up, it gives you the option to request a schedule change which can be approved by your co-parent.
Finances are stressful for just about every parent, but budgets and expenses can get especially contentious between co-parents, so 2houses includes a shared budgeting tool. In addition, the app encodes alimony and has an option to send a picture of a potential purchase (a birthday gift for your child, for example) through the Wishlist feature. Another cool feature is the app’s ability to link an email with more than one family’s account, which makes it a great resource for people who have children with two different co-parents.
Cost: Free for 14 days, then $149.99 per year for the family
Sometimes it can feel like you need a little sorcery to communicate with a co-parent.
Our Family Wizard is up to the challenge and is a centralized place to handle the schedule, communication, and expense or reimbursement requests. Each parent has their own account and additional accounts for caregivers, mediators, or grandparents can be added for no additional charge.
There’s a journal function where parents can write memories or upload pics, plus they have the option to “check-in” say if they’re picking up the child from daycare or an activity, this feature shows they’ve done that. One potentially helpful feature if you’re constantly triggered by your co-parent is the “ToneMeter” which, for an extra $10 a year, checks your wording and offers suggestions if it thinks your message is likely to start a conflict.
The app is secure, meaning they won’t sell personally identifying information, and it’s also court-approved in all 50 states.
Cost: Subscriptions start at $144 for one year,with refunds available for 30 days. Discounts are available for military families and those with demonstrated need.
If child support payments are a concern,
SupportPay is an easy way to keep you and your co-parent on the same page. The app does the work of tracking expenses, providing receipts, calculating how much is owed and even making payments. SupportPay keeps a record of child support payments and records including important tax docs.
Great for busy parents, all you need to do is upload a picture of a receipt and all the necessary information is pulled where it needs to go. There is also “dispute management” which helps settle any disagreements about costs in-app., no rage texts required.
If your co-parent isn’t willing to cooperate, you can still use this app as a solo parent; you can keep a record of payments and communications, and these records can act as third-party proof of your activities, should you need that for legal reasons.
Cost: Basic subscription is free, family subscription is $12.49 per month
7 Talking Parents Talking Parents is a co-parenting app focused on people who are having trouble communicating effectively. The app eliminates the confusion that comes from communicating over several platforms and makes it less likely that an important detail will get lost amidst five different social platforms. Talking Parents comes with helpful features, like a shared calendar and the ability to upload attachments within the app. But, what many co-parents love is that the record of communication is timestamped and unalterable (unlike texts, for example, which can be deleted). You can also see if and when your co-parent has viewed your message, and the record of communication can be shared in legal settings or with meditators, counselors, or attorneys. Talking Parents also offers the option to make and receive recorded video calls (up to 120 minutes per month with the Premium plan); this also includes transcripts of the calls which can be helpful in court.
Cost: Website access is free, subscriptions have a 30-day free trial and start at $9.99 per month.
8 AppClose AppClose is a free app that has an impressive 4.7 stars in the iPhone app store. In addition to a shared calendar, in-app messaging, and expense and reimbursement tracking, AppClose makes it easy to share key information (allergy details, children's measurement, emergency contacts etc.) with the important people in your child's life. Even if certain people aren't app users — we all know that person — you can still track correspondence with them through the app. According to AppClose's website, "When you send a request or event to a non-connected party, that person is then notified with a link to view and respond by approving or declining your request or event. Once the non-connected party responds, you will receive notification and this response will be automatically recorded in the app." This makes it easy to a keep a record of information you've sent regarding "financial obligations, events, or other important information concerning your child." AppClose also has an in-app calling feature. Calls are not recorded, however call records (calls, attempted calls, and missed calls) appear in your communication history.
Parenting with a person that you’re separated from — in whatever capacity — can be challenging. Hopefully these co-parenting apps can help make it a bit smoother.
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This article was originally published on
July 8, 2019