Co-Parenting Convos: Considerations for Choosing a Communications Platform.
It’s likely of no surprise that the most important thing in any co-parenting/co-caretaking relationship is the prompt and correct exchange of information and schedules for the children involved. Our “Co-Parenting Convos” series this week will dig deeper into some considerations to choosing your co-parenting platform. Check out our Part I here.
To start off, we are not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with the companies mentioned here (except for our firm, Morris Williams LLC), or any of the companies’ subsidiaries or affiliates. Their names, as well as related names, marks, emblems and images are registered trademarks of their respective owners. Now that we have all the legal matters addressed, let’s get to it!
The first thing you want to consider before you begin your search for a shared communications platform is your price point. If you and your co-parent/co-caretaker have never used a communications platform and want to see if it will even work for you, perhaps a free option would be proper. However, know that if you begin using a free platform and would like to switch to a platform that offers more options and is paid, all the time you took creating a shared calendar, uploading necessary documents, etc., might have been in vain. Another possibility is to see if the platform you are interested in has a free trial. That way, if you decide to continue to use it, your efforts have not been wasted. Finally, some platforms will provide discounts to military service members and first responders, or if there are premium reductions for paying in advance. You and your co-parent/co-caretaker should consider this in advance of making your choice. You should also sort out how you two will pay for the subscription based on the specific platform’s pricing models.
The second consideration would be what features are you looking for your platform to have. For instance, our favorite platform, and the one we find the most useful for our clients, is called OurFamilyWizard. This platform allows for a shared calendar (that can be viewed by even the children), a message board, private journal per user, an expense log with the ability for parties to exchange and track payments, and even an information bank for each child’s health and academic records. Another perk of this company is the ability for parents to provide access to therapists, Guardians ad litem, and other professionals, to view and review their individual platform access. This can help you in your after-action learning sessions. If you’re looking for less features, Cozi can be helpful. This program was not created with a bent for the co-parenting/co-caretaking relationship, but its shared calendars, to-do lists, and ability to exchange pictures for free, may be something that would be a suitable choice for you.
Finally, once you have considered the price and features, you and your co-parent/co-caretaker should divvy up tasks to make the best use of the program and commit to one another to use it! This seems silly, but we often find that even though both parents/caretakers are willing to use the program, only one does. In this situation, unnecessary stress and conflict will ensue. Now, if the platform doesn’t work for your relationship, that’s a different story. Speak up and work out a solution. Otherwise, use the platform!
Stay up to date with our “Co-Parenting Convos” series by subscribing to our social media platforms, blog, and vlog. If you need help with your custody and visitation/parenting time matter, or to discuss any co-parenting/co-caretaker issues, our experienced family law attorneys at Morris Williams LLC are here to help! Contact us today to schedule a consultation by calling (757) 226-9425 or by emailing us at email@example.com.