Your children are busy with school and a variety of extracurricular activities. This is a good opportunity for them. But what do you do when the children reside in two different households and you need to keep everything straight? Thankfully there are some great online tools that you can use to communicate about everything child related.
Some options out there are more robust and require a fee on a monthly or annual basis but there are other free options that can work just as well, depending on your needs. Here are just a few options* that may make your life easier as you navigate the challenging waters of co-parenting busy children.
Google Calendar: With Google calendar, one of you can set up a shared calendar that both parents can add to, edit or modify to include parenting time schedules, school events, doctor appointments and activities. Best of all about Google shared calendars (or any shared Google platform) - it's free!
Our Family Wizard: This option is the more robust of the three and will cost an annual subscription fee. OFW has a number of useful features including a calendar, messaging system, expense tracker and journal. Users also have the ability to allow other family law professionals access to the account, such as a therapist or parenting consultant.
One of the best features of OFW has to be the "ToneMeter" which they refer to as an "emotional spell check." Basically the "ToneMeter" gauges the emotional tone of the language used and suggests alternative language and word choice to minimize heightening the conflict. This is a great tool for higher conflict divorces and a good check on whether certain words or phrases need to be used at all. There is an online and an app version of this tool.
Talking Parents: This is a no-cost option that helps parents in high-conflict situations keep a complete record of all email communications. There is no room for argument about whether a particular communication was altered or deleted. While this is a free service, there is a nominal charge when a parent requests a record which is provided in PDF format.
2houses: This platform used to be free but is now a subscription based service. This option essentially provides many of the same services as OFW. 2houses also has a neat feature for shared albums to include pictures of your children's experiences while they are away from the other parent. There is an online and an app version of this tool as well.
By using a shared platform you avoid the need to go back and forth in email and keeping separate calendars. In addition, you may prevent miscommunication about when or where something will occur.
What tools do you use to make co-parenting easier on everyone? How do they help you?
*We do not receive any compensation or anything else of value from these providers for bringing attention to them. We are just noting a few options we are aware of that some of our clients use.