Being able to effectively and respectfully communicate with a co-parent can be difficult. It is important, however, that your children can see their parents communicate and respect one another. Some cost more than a communication book but the transparency and accountability the apps provide may be very valuable.
Our Family Wizard
On 28 November 2019, our team viewed a webinar hosted by Racheal Howitz of OurFamilyWizard® (“OFW”). OFW is a co-parenting tool designed to facilitate communication between separated parents in relation to their children. It looks to be a great tool to help reduce conflict that may arise from ineffective communication or the classic “he said, she said” dialogue that family lawyers know all too well.
Parents can coordinate care arrangement schedules, health records, expense sharing, school information, and much more through the user-friendly app or website. It is broken down into 6 key sections: Calendar, Journal, Message board, Info bank and Expense log. Our favourite feature of OFW is the “Tonemeter” which checks your messages for additional exclamation points, capitalisation of words, letters, or bold print words. The aim is to help train parents to communicate respectfully without using disrespectful language.
Although OFW is a relatively new co-parenting app in the Australian market, it has been used successfully in other countries including USA and UK for several years.
Other Co-Parenting Apps
There are other co-parenting apps on the market.
Cozi, although not specifically designed for co-parenting, is an app that could assist you with communicating effectively with a co-parent. It features a shared calendar, to-do lists and even allows co-parents to share photos. It is both user-friendly and free.
Divvito is another app. It provides a private messenger platform for co-parents to discuss matters relating to their children. You can organise conversations into different topic areas like education, sporting and medical. Like OurFamilyWizard it features a conversation monitor tool which hints if it thinks the message should be changed. If a parent decides not to change a provocative message, it will alter any derogatory language.