Co-parenting requires scheduling and time management skills that could trip up even the most organized parents. And the back-and-forth messaging with the co-parent during this time might be all but impossible during challenging divorce proceedings. Not to mention when sharing custody, extra time gets spent planning, documenting, messaging, documenting, scheduling, documenting, filing receipts, and did we mention documenting everything?
Then, there’s the paper trail of proof that you need to show that the proper payments have been made at the proper time. Where’s that bill from the pediatrician’s office, again? Where’s that message telling me what part I owe?
What about those days that don’t go according to plan and schedules need to be revised…custody days traded? And where’s that message, again, telling me the new time and location to pick up Johnny?
Luckily, some brilliant apps are available to make the scheduling, sharing, billing, and documenting of co-parenting so much easier, leaving you with more quality time for the ones you care about most. Some are completely free, and some have free trial periods to help you get started. Here’s a list of shared parenting apps we highly recommend. Feel free to check them out and see what works for you.
Exclusively for co-parents, this user-friendly app allows you to easily and efficiently pay, document, and track shared expenses and child support payments, saving you time and headaches when it comes to remembering or proving who paid what and when.
Cut down on those time-consuming back-and-forth calls, emails, or texts regarding payments. Stop digging through emails or texts to demonstrate compliance-no more saving receipts or paying the total bill just to keep the peace.
Instead, upload pictures of bills and receipts to Dcomply to save and share with your co-parent. You or your co-parent can create single or multi-line bills and pay them, too. You can even set up automatic recurring payments for, say, weekly piano lessons. The app keeps track of all payment and billing history, making it much easier to prove compliance.
Child support payments can be set up and automated to avoid delayed or missed payments, and with this app, you’ll always know your balance. There’s even a dispute process for when you do not agree on payments. Dcomply will keep a record of the dispute until it is resolved. Unlike other apps that allow you only to track expenses, Dcomply allows you to bill and pay those expenses all in one place.
Cost: Dcomply offers a free trial version that allows you to send up to seven transactions. You can choose to upgrade to the Basic version for $2.99/mo., which allows you to easily track expenses, or the Premium version for $5.99/mo. to unlock all of the app’s features.
Famcal utilizes a shared calendar to keep both parents connected and involved in their child’s life.. This app allows you to share scheduling information from parent to parent more easily, so that your family and events are more in-sync and organized. The ability to color-code events makes it perfect for families with multiple kids, too.
You can share notes and photos, create events or tasks, and keep an eye on important dates without having to call or message the other parent, which can be difficult in the early stages of co-parenting when emotions may still be running high.
Cost: Famcal has a free basic version with optional upgrades. A yearly subscription is $14.99 or upgrade to Gold for $23.99 for the year or $4.99/mo.
Track and record your child’s planned time versus actual time spent with you and their other parent. Record dates, times, locations, and add notes, scans, photos, and PDF files. Log no‑shows, withheld visitations, or indicate situations when the other parent was non-compliant.
Don’t have a visitation plan yet? No worries. You can log visitation hours as they occur. A comprehensive calendar allows you to see how your visitation schedule aligns with other scheduled events. You can even set up reminders within the app for others not using the app.
Cost: There’s a free trial version for Mac. A one-time payment of $3.99 for iPhone and iPad users or $9.99 for the Mac iOS paid version.
Cozi wasn’t created with the divorced family in mind, but this free app is a great tool for organized co-parenting. Does Sarah need new soccer cleats before the game on Saturday? Does David need a graphing calculator for math class on Monday? Cozi allows you to share to-do lists on a calendar that can be accessed via mobile device or desktop and pairs easily with other calendar programs like Google Calendar or Outlook. Schedules and reminders are easily shared in one place.
Cost: Free. The free version does contain ads, but you can upgrade with no ads for $29.99/yr.
This app makes agreeing and sticking to a custody schedule easier. Custody Connection has a central calendar that allows you to enter your custody schedule and then add on your daily events, all while allowing you and your co-parent to “sync up” and see each other’s schedules and custody days. Make, approve, or deny trade requests in the app. The app keeps track of traded custody throughout the year, making switching dates and reporting easier to keep track of. There’s even a place to store important shared information about your child, such as medical history and current medication information.
Cost: Free to download on iOS with in-app upgrades available. Not yet available on Android.
This app allows you to coordinate calendars with your co-parent and integrates well with Google Calendar, making it easier to organize co-parenting schedules. Create a customized dashboard that shows how many events you have coming up with each kid, so you never miss an important event again. And there’s even a “smart” profile for each child along with a digital document center for important information like birth certificates, social security and insurance info, and passports.
Cost: The first month is free, then choose among a weekly, monthly, or yearly plan at $1.99, $3.99 or, $24.99, respectively)
Despite the challenges you and many other co-parents face in their relationships with each other, they all care about their children and want what is best for them. Using these handy tools to make co-parenting easier and less time-consuming can eliminate arguments and allow you more time to focus on what they need. These separations are challenging for children. Your love and attention will help them make the transition to this new way of living.