A Review of Apps That Help Streamline Communication
Good communication between co-parents benefits both you and your children. Fewer conflicts will allow you and your co-parent to focus on raising your children rather than fighting over scheduling, money, and the terms of your child custody
Part of communication comes from your willingness to communicate and work with your co-parent. But communication can also be facilitated by the proper tools. Ideally, you will communicate better and more often when you have tools that facilitate easy and secure communication. Your likelihood of success increases further when you add scheduling and expense-tracking functions.
Features to Look For
A messaging app should provide secure communication. In other words, it should offer security features that prevent hacking, reading, or altering your communications. You may need a record of your messages for legal proceedings, and you cannot risk anyone compromising them, whether intentionally or accidentally.
You should have an app that works on all platforms. For example, iMessage for Apple devices includes some features that do not display correctly on Android phones and tablets.
You might also benefit from having a system that confirms when the software delivers the message and when your co-parent opens it. Again, if a dispute arises with your co-parent, your lawyer can use the delivery and read confirmations to support your side of the story.
Some additional features that could smooth communications with your co-parent include:
- Shared calendars
- Expense tracking
- Group chat settings
Depending on your custody order and childcare arrangements, you may want an app that others can use, including:
- Grandparents or other relatives
- Daycare workers
If your children are old enough to have phones, you may even benefit from a family app that they can install as well. This will ensure that everyone remains in the loop.
Communication Apps for Co-Parents
You will find many communication apps on the Android and iOS app stores. Some were designed for general use rather than being tailored for co-parents.
Popular co-parenting and family apps include:
Our Family Wizard
Our Family Wizard was designed for divorced co-parents. According to the company, it has been downloaded millions of times
by parents and their lawyers. It is a subscription-based app.
The app has a simple interface. Its messaging, calendaring, and expense-tracking modules are integrated into a seamless package.
Messages are secure and cannot be deleted or edited after being sent. The app puts a timestamp on all messages as well, giving you a record to use in court. Importantly, the messaging system has an optional tone analyzer to tell you when your message may generate conflict.
AppClose has many of the same features as Our Family Wizard. It offers messaging and calendaring functions. It also has a video calling feature integrated into the app that documents every call and missed call. Importantly, AppClose has no subscription fees
Cozi is a family-organizing
app. It includes reminders of upcoming appointments and task assignments to ensure each person knows what they need to do.
Cozi is free. It does not include an integrated messaging system. Instead, you will need to supplement the calendaring and task list functions with text messages.
Communication and Conflict