Joint Custody Issues: How Can Apps Help Separated Parents?

Co-parenting from two separate homes can present a variety of challenges for parents. These challenges range from custody arrangements and coordinating everyone’s schedules to tracking time, and expenses, and sharing important information all while avoiding conflict for the sake of the children. Luckily, there are a variety of apps on the market designed to make co-parenting as smooth a process as possible.

Key takeaways:
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    Co-parenting apps are designed to reduce conflict between parents and make their lives easier with scheduling tools and more.
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    From tracking custody schedules and time spent with kids to exchanging messages with tone monitoring, there are a variety of co-parenting apps that can help.
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    A co-parenting app is not a foolproof tool. Both parents must be dedicated to using it and adding in the information needed to make them work.

Research tells us that when both of a child’s parents can get along and form a healthy relationship, whether or not they are together, it is beneficial to the child’s development. Unfortunately, some parents have a difficult time getting along due to difficult divorces, resentments from the past, and conflicts that arise out of co-parenting. Read on to learn some of the most common issues that occur between co-parents, as well as the types of apps that may offer solutions.

Scheduling and custody

Deciding on the best custody arrangement between co-parents isn’t always simple. Oftentimes there are courts involved and extra measures must be taken to track the amount of time each parent spends with their children, as well as their schedules, locations, important dates, and more. Luckily, there are a variety of apps that are designed to make this process as conflict-free as possible from scheduling and coordinating custody, personal, work, and school schedules, to important dates and events.

Sharing important information

When co-parenting, there is often important information to be shared between parents. Sharing this information may not always be simple, especially if the parents have a difficult time communicating. Luckily, some apps help ease this process as much as possible by sharing and storing important information and messages, medical info, social security numbers, important contact information, to-do's for both parents and kids, shopping lists, and even recipes. These can be shared, saved, and even printed out.

Monitoring communications

Emotions can sometimes run high when separated parents are trying to co-parent. Even the tone of a message can come across in a way that creates conflict. Many co-parenting apps have tone-monitoring features that will alert you if your message sounds highly emotional much like a spell checker would point out a typo. This way, parents can keep their communications as peaceful and diplomatic as possible without engaging in any unnecessary drama.

For cases where a parent wishes to keep their number private, some apps do everything a phone would while concealing one’s personal phone number. There are also several apps with features that timestamp and record communications should they be needed in the future.

Sharing important moments

One of the most difficult things about co-parenting is the fear of missing important moments and milestones in the growth and development of your child. Several apps have helped ease parents’ fears of missing out on their child’s life by adding in features that allow for video recording and sharing. Some have a journal feature also so that each parent is kept up to speed on everything that is happening in the life of their child while they are with the other parent.

Divorce advice and tips

In addition to helping parents keep track of their schedules, coordinate what is happening with their kids, and ensure they aren’t missing out, some apps even offer divorce advice and tips on how to best navigate your situation in a way that is most beneficial for your children as well as both parents involved.

Court approval

There are times when custody tracking, message recording, and keeping track of schedules is a required by the court. Many co-parenting apps are court approved to show when each parent is picking up and dropping off the kids if schedules are being honored, how the parents are communicating, and more.


The costs of these apps vary and depend on the number of features they provide, as well as if they are court-approved. The type of app or apps that will benefit you most will depend on your unique co-parenting situation, your relationship with your ex or co-parent, and the complexities involved in ensuring your two families are on the same page when it comes to your kids.

It’s best to evaluate your need, how your schedules are syncing up, and how you are keeping track of all you need to keep track of, then look for apps that you both find easy to use and can commit to keeping up with for the sake of a smooth co-parenting journey.

Not all apps are foolproof

Using apps for your co-parenting efforts is not foolproof. For these apps to work, both parents must be on board with entering their personal information, sharing, syncing, and updating their calendars, updating journals, taking and sharing photos and videos, and doing what they can to keep the other parent in the loop. It takes two, and the best results come from equal efforts from both parties to ensure that you do the best that you can to co-parent with your ex so that you’ll not only have less stress and conflict in your life but also so your children will have a better experience developmentally.

Now that you know all that is possible with the help of your smartphone, it’s time to decide the exact needs of your family, and the features that are going to most benefit you and your co-parent. Which apps will be the most user-friendly for both parties and do you see both of you using them regularly? It’s also important to consider which apps will work best with your financial situation. Co-parenting can be tricky, but technology can help smooth out some of the areas that might be rougher around the edges.


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