Does Technology Make Co-Parenting Easier?
Technology helps make the lives of co-parents easier by improving communication and scheduling, which tend to be the most significant co-parenting problems. Plenty of communication and tracking of events and appointments are essential for successful co-parenting. Conflicts can also persist into co-parenting, particularly after divorces that ended on a hostile note. Technology helps co-parenting relationships stay drama-free and well organized in several ways.
Tracking Child-Related Expenses
As part of a divorce, ex-spouses usually come up with an agreement for payment of child support and other child-related expenses. With a shared spreadsheet or co-parenting app, they can easily keep track of those expenses and determine the person who paid for a particular expense and if there is one of them who should be reimbursed.
SupportPay is a co-parenting app that can be used to manage and track spousal support and child support payments. One parent can use the app to track and document his or her own payments. Both parents can also use it to communicate about past payments and schedule future payments.
Sharing custody can be challenging, especially if the divorce was not amicable. A strong dislike for each other and failing to agree on a number of things are some of the challenges that can come with co-parenting. Thanks to technology, parents can find ways to make the issues between them more subtle.
Parents who always seem to have conflicts over phone calls can find other ways to communicate that mitigate the risk of tension or arguments between them. Keeping all communication via text or email can reduce conflicts. Parents will need to keep their tone more professional and neutral to make these types of communication work well for both of them.
Some apps allow parents to communicate while keeping negativity and disagreements to a minimum. Our Family Wizard, for instance, has an optional ToneMeter that functions like a spellchecker. It picks up on potential negative tones in a parent’s message and recommends alternative text to prevent arguments. Additionally, it logs communication, offering access to records that can be used in court proceedings.
Maintaining Regular Contact With Children
Children benefit when they spend time with both parents every day, helping emphasize the parenting and family being unified. Technology enables this to happen, even if the parents are in separate households. Co-parents can contact kids daily using video calling software or through texts if the children are old enough to have their own cell phones.
Coparently is an app that facilitates online communication between parents. They can add children to the account to enable them to keep in touch with each parent.
Mapping Out a Child’s Schedule
Thanks to technology, parents can be on the same page concerning a child’s schedule, even if they no longer live in the same house. Apps that let co-parents schedule child custody and activities include:
- Our Family Wizard
- Talking Parents
- Google Calendar
These apps allow parents to view and manage upcoming events, appointments, field trips, sleepovers, and other child activities and obligations. Parents can identify whoever added a particular event and get reminders of any upcoming events to avoid being caught off-guard.
Technology will only work as well as the parents using it. When used constructively, it makes it easier for parents to focus on their children’s best interests during and after divorce.