Many apps offer specific features to help parents manage their children’s busy lives. Most have calendar functions, often with colour coding and the option of accepting or rejecting a request. Others have safeguarding software which can monitor track and record conversations, helping them to remain constructive. These records cannot be tampered with and can be used by legal professionals, family therapists and even Courts.
With such a wide selection of apps available, it may not be easy to know which one to try. We have prepared a shortlist of apps we think are particularly useful in different family situations.
Cozi is marketed as an organising tool for busy families, helping to keep everyone on the same page by communicating and coordinating plans and schedules, managing to do lists and sharing shopping lists.
It is ideal in co-parenting situations where parents are generally on the same page, but need a little help coordinating schedules and care of the children. In addition to the calendars and lists it has features such as recipes and meal planners, which are for invaluable for parents of fussy eaters or children with specific dietary requirements.
Cozi allows for other users such as children or grandparents to be added, which can be helpful for families with young teens or where there is additional childcare support.
Another plus point is that, at the time of writing, the basic version of Cozi was free. Although we note that this version does include in app advertising. Those who prefer an ad free experience, can pay US$29.99 per year for the premium version which includes additional features like a birthday tracker.
The 2Houses app is designed for separated parents and offers a number of features to help with communication and practical organisation.
It has a calendar facility to help with scheduling contact and a finances tool to log expenses from which you can view simple expenditure reports. Conversations on the app can be printed or archived, but never deleted.
An appealing feature is the journal, which is designed to bridge the physical gap when children are with their other parent allowing you to exchange anecdotes and quotes from children, news, photos, videos and notes, as well as sharing more formal school and medical information. There is also a Wish List feature to help with gift ideas for children.
Parents can give access to and assign specific rights to children, family members and others as appropriate. At the time of writing, 2Houses was charging an annual fee of £99 per family.
WeParent is designed to help modern families of all shapes and sizes to coordinate their children’s busy lives and is especially useful for separated parents. It focuses on minimising conflict and stress between parents and other caregivers who may be integral to maintaining the children’s schedules.
The app offers tools to help manage communication and logistics including shared calendars, appointment lists and expenses lists, as well as the ability to share photos and documents.
Family members and other caregivers who are added can perform a limited number of actions including sharing photos, notes, documents and creating events. The app also allows for input and use by legal professionals, with a messaging platform that is fully tracked.
WeParent’s founder has a PhD in psychology who says that the app focuses on tried and tested methods researched by psychologists around the world. At the time of writing, WeParent was offering different payment options including monthly, annual and a lifetime subscription for US$199.
For fraught situations where communication is difficult or tense, the OurFamilyWizard App offers a variety of resources and tools. A stand-out feature is the Tone Meter, which automatically picks up negative language used in messages and suggests alternatives.
The app is designed to help parents in high conflict reduce the additional friction caused by miscommunication and misunderstandings, providing them with a clear but indirect way of communicating. It offers read receipts and login history to end ambiguity about what was said and when, with records which cannot be manipulated. There is also the ability to check-in at change-over locations and record parental expenses, which some parents will find helpful.
Families working with third-party professionals such a counsellors, mediators or solicitors may benefit from the professional access feature which enables them to access, oversee and even assist with communication via the app.
The OurFamilyWizard website states that the app is recommended by family law professionals and courts in UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and USA. At the time of writing, prices start at £79 for a one-year subscription.
Whether separated or together, parents are increasingly turning to apps to help organise family life and there is a huge choice available. There are several apps which have been specifically designed to help separated parents, with some being particularly well equipped for high-conflict, tense relationships. We have included information on only a few. It is advisable to look around and read independent reviews from parents in a similar situation before deciding which to use. If you are not sure, it is worth noting that many platforms offer a free 14-day trial.
Apps can be invaluable in reducing conflict from miscommunication as well as reducing the likelihood of unexpected arguments taking place in front of the children, but it is not always possible to eliminate disagreements about core concerns.
If you are unable to resolve an issue with your child’s other parent or caregiver, our experienced children solicitors may be able to help. Our specialist knowledge and proven results with child arrangements can help you to navigate through this difficult time.
If you would like to speak confidentially to our team of family solicitors you can call 020 7993 2936 to schedule an appointment or make a Contact Request here.
Filed Under: Insight