By: Valerie E. Anias
Figuring out how to co-parent after a break up, separation, or divorce is difficult. We especially see breakdowns in communication during the holidays. Now that the holidays are behind us, ERA Law Group, LLC want to help parents by identifying various resources available to help them Co-Parent.
Some parents find difficulty in communicating with one another. At times the communication is simple and other times, it is rather difficult. Nonetheless, both must parent their children. Removing face-to-face conversation is sometimes the best place to start when trying to co-parent effectively. The below programs and apps provide various resources for the separated and divorced parents.
- Our Family Wizard
Our Family Wizard is an online program which provides a platform for communication. The parents can “email” back and forth, add items to a joint calendar, and, most importantly, if their dispute needs to be taken to Court, the correspondence can be tracked by the Court. This also serves as a means to encourage parents to speak with each other in a respectful manner and keep it about the children. There is an annual cost of approximately $100.00 per parent. This is a web-based program though there is an app for iOS and Android.
Similar to Our Family Wizard, this program offers a mutual calendar, financial tab, and photo album tab. It does not allow for direct communication but there is a journal function which allows parents to make notes. The financial tab is particularly helpful as it outlines each parents expenses and each parent can upload what expenses they have paid on behalf of the child. There is no cost to this program. This is a web-based program though there is an app for iOS.
Like the former two programs, this is also a means for both parents to keep information related to their children in one central location. It does not permit the parents a platform for direct communication such as Our Family Wizard, but there is an alert system to alert each parent regarding important events like doctor appointments or parent-teacher conferences. This is an iOS only app program and costs $1.99.
- Custody Junction
Custody Junction provides a Scheduling Center which allows parents to schedule their visitation/events/vacations, etc. up to 2 years in advance. It also has a Tracking Center which allows parents to track when events were created, edited, amended, what the expenses were, who was present at each event, etc. It gets rid of the “he said, she said” regarding who, what, where, and when. Similar to 2Houses, it also has a Reporting Center which provides for accumulated expenses as well as reporting about child support payments, denied or forfeited parenting time, etc. This program is only web-based and costs $47.00 per parent for a 1 year subscription.
AppClose is a combination of the above 4 programs. It has a joint calendar, a messenger option like texting, an expense forum that acts like Venmo by requesting reimbursement from the other parent as well as the ability to track expenses, the ability to create a parenting schedule, set important reminders, and keep track of family information such as immunizations, date of births, etc. Much like Facebook, it also has a NewsFeed function which displays all communications, events, etc. at a glance. This is a free app only program available for iOS and Android.
This program is a family calendar of sorts. It syncs your calendars so that each parent and/or child knows everyone’s schedule. It also has the capability of being shared with caregivers and babysitters if necessary. This is an iOS only app program and costs $9.99.
Co-parenting is key. The victim in parental miscommunication is the child. If you and your co-parent are suffering from severe communication breakdowns, contact our office at (410) 919-1790 and schedule your free 30-minute consultation.