Technology is changing every aspect of modern life. The hours we work, where we work, how we communicate, where to shop, and how to learn a new language. Technology is even changing family life, whether it’s more time spent watching television or a group chat to share information and family events. When it comes to co-parenting in California, technology is helping to make this tricky parenting arrangement run more smoothly.
The Bledsoe Firm has looked into several online services and mobile applications to develop a list of four tech tools your family should use to make co-parenting in California less contentious and much more organized. Now, you just need to get your co-parent on board.
#1: Invest Time in a Shared Calendar
There are a number of co-parenting tools out there that allow for a shared calendar and messaging system. These apps are designed to cut back on conflicting schedules, monitor changes to the agreed co-parenting arrangement, and decrease fragmented conversations. A number of them work really well for co-parenting in California.
Here are a few of the options: Our Family Wizard, Coparently, Custody Connection, and Parenting Apart. There are others, but the most talked about app is probably Our Family Wizard. It has a robust set of features and puts a lot of information in one place for co-parents.
At the Bledsoe Firm, we’ve seen apps like these solve a number of co-parenting problems, but it can also create another issue. Both parents have to invest in the concept of a shared calendar and communication tool. A good bet is formally contacting your co-parent through family lawyers to discuss the arrangement and reliance on these shared calendars and online tools.
#2: Eliminate the Communication Conflict
The he-said-she-said of co-parenting in California is a major hurdle for many former couples. In particular, when communication is taking place across several mediums and platforms. You might correspond by email one day and send a few texts the next. The date of a school conference might be relayed through an email, but the time updated over the phone. Luckily, there’s an app that not only helps streamline co-parenting conversations but eliminates the discrepancy over what was said and when.
Talking Parents creates a log of all communication between co-parents. It can log text messages and record emails. Plus, you can add in notes from in-person conversations and phone calls. Over time the communication in this app becomes the official record of your correspondence. You can use it as evidence of a particular conversation for the court and even give your family lawyer access to monitor communication that might be helpful during a divorce, separation, or renegotiation of your parenting agreement.
#3: Solve the Shopping Overlap
There are a number of mobile apps and online tools designed specifically for co-parenting arrangements, but that doesn’t mean some generic tools aren’t worth your time and attention. One tool that is ideal for co-parenting in California, even though it was created for a broader group of users is the Amazon wish list.
Either on the Amazon website or your mobile app, you can add items to a wish list. This can help co-parents track items that need to be purchased for a field trip, birthday party, or sports team. You simply add the items to the Amazon list as a signal that something needs to be bought, and then both parents are aware when the purchase is made. You can be sitting in a PTO meeting, at the gym, or out to dinner with your kids when you think of an item.
Also, as Amazon tracks all your past orders, co-parents are able to look back at who purchased what and how much it all cost without providing receipts, credit card bills, or arguments. Developing a system around this Amazon technology can make the necessary spending of co-parenting in California far more streamlined.
#4: Create an Address Book of Contacts
One challenge of co-parenting in California is managing your child’s important information across two households. Far too often, one parent attends the initial meeting for a sports team and forgets to share the coach’s contact details. The other parent is left scrambling for information when your child is going to miss a game. More important are the contact details for the doctor, dentist, poison control, and the school office.
A mobile app called 2Houses is trying to solve this lack of information exchange. Through the application, both parents can upload all of these contact details, and other information such as photo albums and a child’s clothing preferences. Not only will it cut back on the phone calls and frantic text messages, but you can eventually share this with your children to help them take responsibility for adding certain information into the app.
What to Ask a California Family Lawyer?
If you are new to co-parenting in California or still need to put a formal co-parenting agreement in place, you probably have a lot of questions for a California family lawyer. At the Bledsoe Firm, we are ready to provide answers. Call our family law firm at (949) 363 – 5551.