Simplified Communication in Co-Parenting Through Technology in NJ

Managing Parental Responsibilities Can Sometimes Become a Challenging Task, Particularly When Dealing with a Difficult Ex. Fortunately, There Are Diverse Technological Apps That Can Aid in Mitigating Conflicts

Tech Solutions to Manage Co-Parenting Issues in Ocean County, NJEveryone wants what is best for their children’s health and social development, and being a parent is the most challenging role adults face. When there is a divorce, parents want to continue to play an active role in their children’s lives. This means a collaborative approach to parenting requires constant communication and comprises even the most contentious separations.

By practicing effective communication, parents can work cooperatively to address issues such as trouble in school or repetitive illness. Healthy interactions between family members are essential and secure when parents display mutual respect. Keeping themselves informed to celebrate the successes and work on areas of improvement with their children provides a safe and secure environment for everyone involved. Healthy communication requires conflict resolution skills, compromise, joint decision-making, and respectful discussion to foster the best possible outcome for the entire family.

Technology is a double-edged sword when it comes to co-parenting. Text messages, emails, audio messages, and the like can be sent almost instantly without thought or censorship of what one conveys. It is so easy to send but cannot be taken back.

Posting emotional or angry comments on social media may seem cathartic, but it frequently does more harm than good—author Ann Gold Buscho. Ph.D., in her column A Better Not Bitter Divorce, suggests briefly leaving all social media platforms to avoid making negative comments about your ex. Airing your marriage’s dirty laundry means your children can see whatever you post. Even when you have all the privacy settings perfectly aligned, a friend or relative could bring up your toxic texting. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

A recent article in Psychology Today approaches the subject of the misinterpretation of texts. Without non-verbal cues, emotional messages can be confusing and create conflict. It is valuable for parents to use various available technologies and applications to communicate clearly. The better the communication, the better the children can adapt to the changing family structure.

Technological Advancements That Facilitate Co-Parenting

There are many benefits to using technology in a co-parenting relationship. The first is scheduling changes and flexibility. Shared online calendars and planners allow parents to input piano recitals, doctor’s appointments, birthday parties, and any necessary adjustments to parenting time to accommodate different events. The updates are made in real-time; some even have an approval feature showing the other parent agrees with the change. Face-to-face interactions are less stressful when discussions about schedules can be handled electronically. It is an emotion-free exchange and is conducive to a healthier co-parenting relationship. Another benefit is that parents can discuss schedules and make plans with older children by including them in the process. Tweens and teens have busy schedules and also want to see their friends. Allowing them to make choices causes less conflict. Lastly, communication tools for co-parenting are record keepers. They can clearly show if the other party approved an agreement. This can dispel misunderstandings and their subsequent conflicts.

A Look at Current App Alternatives for Co-Parenting

There is a plethora of applications to make co-parenting less stressful. The majority are calendar-focused, but some have features that others do not. You may need to try multiple apps to find the best fit.

OurFamilyWizard is an app that manages schedules and expenses. It has a variety of levels of access that allow children age-appropriate access. It also has a Tone Meter, which indicates to the writer when a message is too negative or aggressive. Our Family Wizard will enable you to give access to third parties such as grandparents, therapists, etc.

FamCal is a free app that focuses on a shared calendar. It features shopping or to-do lists, family menus, and important contacts for the children such as doctors’ offices, tutors, babysitters, etc. FamCal includes an area for tasks such as a science project, field trip, or homework assignments.

TalkingParents Provides clear communication for co-parents. Its features include recorded calls and messages stored permanently within the service. If you or your ex have trouble remembering what was said, revisiting those conversations is a great way. It has a shared calendar and special files to store receipts or other documents. Every action performed on the app is recorded.

WeParent is designed to make sharing a family calendar painless and stress-free. Their calendar has a specific feature for scheduling parenting time, which is placed on a banner at the top of each day to make planning visits and events even more accessible. It offers private and public access to ensure better communication between parents, children, and other valued family members.

2Houses offers an interactive calendar that can be shared with all family members and managed by parents. One of its most important features is its information bank that holds contacts, medical information, banking information, receipts, and a budget feature that includes space for storing receipts.

Custody X Change is an app that assists in creating a parenting plan. Co-parents can negotiate according to their needs, and the platform will offer suggestions for accomplishing it. Once the plan is made, this app will track changes in the custody schedule and provide parents with a report and graphs showing what was planned and what time was spent with the children. For example, if a parent is consistently late on Tuesday afternoons, the application can suggest a change in the schedule to prevent lost time during visitation hours.

Technology Solutions for Problems Like Scheduling and Financial Strains

One of the most significant difficulties divorced families face is scheduling and calendar coordination. Homework, school projects, music lessons, performances, sports practices, games, and a thousand other events on the yearly calendar are impossible to track without some help. Sending text messages or voicemails with reminders and information can cause the wires of communication to get crossed. Frustration, anger, confusion, and tears can all result when no one is sure who has to be where and at what time.

Apps with payment programs are helpful not only for paying or receiving support but also for saving receipts or invoices for items that need to be included in the monthly budget. No one likes to argue over money, especially when children are present. It can cause anxiety and stress for everyone involved. Having an app that reminds your partner that a payment is pending means you don’t have to start an argument when the payment hasn’t arrived.

When co-parents are combative, having an app that timestamps and saves all messages and provides information about when the message is read and when there is a response.   Messages cannot be deleted, which holds parents accountable for their interactions.

Positive Effects of Employing Co-Parenting Apps

The biggest plus of these parenting apps is the interactive calendars. Parents need to be able to plan and share those plans with the other parent. Missing an important event can be devastating to everyone involved, but especially for the children. Also, when flexibility with the parenting schedule is needed, it is much easier to keep track of the amount of time spent with each parent when it is in black and white.

Our family lawyers can provide parents with effective solutions to manage co-parenting issues in Monmouth County, NJ Document storage is also key. Receipts, checklists, grocery lists, reminders, permission slips, and prescriptions can be accessed with the click of a mouse. Any needed forms for school, extracurricular activities, or healthcare can be posted and shared. Keeping both parents in the loop prevents unpleasant discussions.

Although it is not a replacement for human interaction, an app can facilitate communication. Quick questions or clarifications can sometimes be done more efficiently through the app rather than a text message. It also helps keep the focus on the children. Your personal life or opinions regarding your ex’s personal life do not belong on the app. It should be used to allow compromise and problem-solving to be at the forefront.

Contact our Brick & Sea Girt Co-Parenting Lawyers to Explore Your Options

Co-parenting can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be a constant battle between you and your ex. We have successfully helped many families transition into a new kind of relationship. We have found that sharing your expectations and building a parenting time plan with your ex can produce something both sides can agree on. Our attorneys at Bronzino Law Firm know that every situation is unique. Sometimes, a parenting plan will work for a while, but as children grow and their needs change, we can help you make the necessary adjustments to meet their needs while working with your ex to develop a flexible plan.

If you are considering divorce or have already divorced and need help in Jackson, Little Egg Harbor, Asbury Park, Rumson, Wall, Barnegat, Sea Girt, Colts Neck, Long Branch, and municipalities throughout Monmouth and Ocean County, call us at (732) 812-3102 or fill out a short contact form.