Coming out of a divorce or sharing parenting duties with a non-Spouse? Brittany has some tips for you-
We all know that not every relationship lasts. For one reason or another, (or a combination of a lot of reasons) it just doesn’t work out. Some of the time, it is a mutual agreement to part ways. Other times it can get ugly.
Maybe you stay in touch, or maybe you have to restrain yourselves from ripping each other’s head off every time you speak.
But if there are children in common, it changes everything.
When dealing with an ex, it may not always be pretty. The love is no longer there, and a lot of times, anger may take its place. But just like every other aspect of our lives….it’s all about the kids.
You don’t have to love each other. You don’t even have to like each other. But you do have to be civil. At least for the sake of your children, if nothing else.
We have to do what we have to do in order to keep our kids safe, happy and emotionally stable.
Co-parenting can be a tricky task to work out. Who has the kids on what days? Who is picking them up from school and taking them to practice? Who is taking them to the doctor? Who is paying for the new basketball uniform or baseball cleats?
All of this can be hard to deal with, especially between two people who aren’t always on the same page about things. But don’t fret! These days there are plenty of tools out there and support to help make things, at least a little bit, easier.
Sources of Knowledge
Knowing how to co-parent is the first step. There are tons of articles and books and papers out there that tell you how to successfully co-parent. But none of them are one size fits all. What works for some may not work for others. So, finding the right fit might take some time.
Don’t get discouraged, and just keep working at it.
The main goal is to make life as easy as possible for your little. Some of the key points in most articles are communication, compromise, flexibility, and putting your emotions aside for the benefit of your child. Hopefully that will point you in the right direction.
There are so many websites and apps that can be very helpful when co-parenting. There are some that are for families, some specifically for co-parenting, and some that are for documentation.
They all have pros and cons, and just like with anything else, you will have to do a little research to see which one (or combination of a few) will work best for your situation.
Cozi is a free app available on iPhones and androids (as well as windows and blackberries). It’s not specifically made for the purpose of co-parenting, but it is very useful in keeping everyone connected and on the same page.
You use an email to sign up and create a shared password. You add family members in the app when you sign up.
You can add appointments and a custody schedule if needed. There is a place for “to do” lists, and it even gives recipes if you want to use them or add your own.
Each person has their own color, so it can be easier to view each person’s schedule. And there is even a journal where you can record memories and add photos. Each family member (children and co parents) download the app, and login with the same information, then they can view the schedules and add information. Everyone gets notified about what’s going on.
The only thing that you have to pay for on this app is removing ads.
Other Apps and Websites
There is a list of apps similar to Cozi that are designed just for co-parenting. 2houses, Our Family Wizard, Kidganizer. They each offer similar options and have different costs associated with them.
Type co-parenting apps in your app stores search engine and check them out. Some offer free trials, so try a couple if you need to in order to help you decide which will benefit your family situation the best.
Talking parents is an app that is made specifically for co-parent communications. This app only offers proof of communications. If you think that communication may be an issue for either yourself or your ex, this app may be a good investment. Reports of certain communications can be downloaded to send or print for court hearings or lawyers if needed.
Custodyjunction.com is a website only (no app) that helps with successful co-parenting as well. It offers scheduling and expense tracking. With this tool, schedules can be made up to 2 years in advance. It also provides reports if they need to be printed out for a lawyer or court hearing. The reports can be records of expenses and payments, time spent with the child, and visitation.
(check out some other apps we recommend here)
One of the most important parts of going through any relationship struggle is a support system. With everything changing for you and your child, dealing with the stress can be overwhelming.
Family and friends can be a great support system.
You can also find a lot of support groups online and on Facebook. Knowing that you are not alone and having someone to vent to will help.
And don’t forget about us! We are here for you too! Feel free to start up a conversation with us on Facebook or in the discussion forum on our website.