There’s a lot of talk these days about how technology is eliminating our face to face interaction with other people. This makes it more difficult to develop the positive relationships in our lives, but when it comes to dealing with an ex-spouse, less face-to-face communication is often a good thing, especially when the relationship with your ex is fragile or contentious.
When you have children with your ex, communication is crucial to co-parenting success. Thankfully, there are many online tools that can help you effectively communicate with your co-parent – without all the negative side effects of face-to-face interaction.
Online Resources to the Rescue
Perhaps the most popular online co-parenting resource is the award-winning Our Family Wizard. Our Family Wizard (OFW) provides resources that are helpful to anyone trying to co-parent successfully, but it is touted as being helpful for those in difficult shared custody or joint custody co-parenting relationships. According to the Our Family Wizard website, “judges in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and 6 Canadian provinces have ordered families to utilize the site in contested cases to reduce family conflict.”
Some of OFW’s features include a shared parenting calendar; a message board that allows you to securely send and receive messages to your co-parent or family law professional and protect messages from being edited or lost; an info bank that stores your family’s important information (such as emergency contact info, school schedules, and medical info) in one place; and an expense log to track medical expenses, child support, etc. The cost: $99 per year (per parent); accounts for children, family attorneys, and mental healthcare professionals are free. Smartphone apps are available as well.
Coparently offers similar co-parenting tools and is similarly helpful for those in difficult co-parenting situations. In addition to offering online communication between co-parents, Coparently also allows communication to your attorney as well, giving her a record of all the communications that have taken place between you and your co-parent.
Coparently also costs $99 per year per parent, but it also offers the option of paying monthly at $9.99 per month. Accounts for children and family professionals are free. In addition, there is a 30-day free trial option.
If you’re primarily interested in a secure, online communication tool, then Talking Parents might be right for you. Talking Parents is especially useful for the parent who deals with high-conflict situations with his or her co-parent, especially, the website states, “those involving domestic violence or vitriolic communication.” This tool doesn’t require that you give your telephone number or email address to your ex, which is helpful when harassment is present in your co-parenting situation. What’s more, this tool keeps secure, accurate, and tamper-proof records of all communication between you and your co-parent – an invaluable tool should you need to provide the courts proof of correspondence with your ex.
Talking Parents is free, but it charges $3.99 per downloaded file, or $4.99 per month for unlimited access. It also offers a highly-rated, free app.
These days, you can find an online resource or app that helps you do just about anything, including co-parenting. Although this may sound obvious, a tool is useful only if it is being used. So, before you settle on a co-parenting online tool or app, try it out and see if it works for you. And remember that it needs to work for your co-parent as well.