13 Popular Co-Parenting Apps for Divorced Parents

Staying organized can be a lot easier than you think.
By:
Chelsea Williams
August 10, 2021
W

hen you share children with someone, you know that communicating with them is unavoidable even after you’re divorced. You’re in a relationship with that other parent for the long haul because of the little people you mutually love. Still, it may not be easy to figure out how to keep it amicable when talking is necessary. Luckily, a co-parenting app could be the solution.

The right app for finances, schedules, or record-keeping can save you time and energy, but there’s another reason you may need one: co-parenting communication is now a huge point of focus in family law.

Attorneys and judges will often suggest or require that you talk with your co-parent about extracurriculars, school, or child care. Traditionally, they told some parents to use only email or text message for record-keeping purposes. Now, a lot of them are actually recommending that divorced couples select from the best co-parenting apps and use them exclusively.

Whether you’re legally required to use an app or just looking to make things easier, you should know what’s out there for you! On this list, we’ll share a mix of both free and paid apps that will make co-parenting a more amicable process for everyone involved.

Apps for Managing Shared Expenses

Even in the most amicable divorces, finances tend to be the #1 thing that divorced parents argue about. Despite these conversations being uncomfortable, most divorced parents need to continuously work with their ex-partner for years on shared expenses for children. If you’re one of these co-parents, make use of a convenient expense tracking app.

1. Onward

Cost: Free

Helpful features:

  • Onward allows users to easily share past expenses or propose future expenses with their co-parent
  • You can upload receipts so there is a consolidated paper trail
  • Keep track of your balance and who owes who at any given time
  • View reports of your spending by month, by child and by category so you can see who spent what
  • Export data into Excel instead of creating spreadsheets each month, the data can be used in court if needed
  • Review an activity feed so you can see any changes made by your co-parent

Cons:

  • Payments need to be made to your co-parent using a third party tool like Venmo or CashApp
  • Does not include a shared calendar or features that aren’t related to managing expenses

Onward is best for co-parents who need clear expense tracking that’s not complicated by other clunky co-parenting app features. Most smartphones come with shared calendar options and photo albums on the cloud for the rest.

Onward skips the unnecessary features many other apps tack on and sticks to one of the biggest needs co-parents face: talking about money without awkwardness, nagging, or conflict.

Onward is also the only app that allows you to send proposals for future expenses so that there are no surprises, this helps avoid any arguments after money has already been spent. You’ll know how crucial this is if you’ve ever tried to work out disagreements over shared expenses after the fact without a dedicated app like Onward doing it for you.

Download: iOS and Android

2. SupportPay

Cost: Free account for 2 expenses per month; upgrade for $14.99 per month

Helpful features:

  • SupportPay lets you make and receive payments right through the app
  • Categorize expenses easily
  • Export data for tax purposes
  • Use the app solo even if your co-parent doesn’t want to use it

Cons:

  • Dated, inefficient design and user experience
  • Emphasizes child support features but other expense tracking is lacking
  • To actually get value from the app beyond 2 expenses, you need to become a paid monthly subscriber

If your child support goes into (or comes out of) your account automatically, you might not always notice when payments are made. SupportPay presents itself as an app that can solve this.

Even though you can use this app alone if your co-parent isn’t on board with using it, solo use won’t help you avoid disputes about missing payments.

And with the free account only allowing two expenses per month and not allowing users to access features like payments, its hard to see value in the app without paying for it.  With so many back-and-forth payments between co-parents every month, you’re better off going with an expense tracking app that’s truly free (like Onward) so you can track it all.

Download: iOS and Android

3. Talking Parents

Cost: Free for desktop version; paid mobile app accounts start at $5.99 per month

Helpful features:

  • Talking Parents has secure in-app messaging with timestamps
  • File attachments and storage
  • Call transcripts and recordings
  • Unalterable PDF records
  • Calendar for shared custody

Cons:

  • The entire app focuses on co-parenting messaging, so this is best for those looking to work on communication only
  • Expensive app reports and fees can easily drive up bills of over $200
  • Difficult to use; dated design and poor user experience reported by multiple users

Talking Parents organizes all of your communication with your co-parent and your kids’ important records in one place. Those timestamps can be helpful for court proceedings, though users report that the app is hard to use.

If you need to limit communication with your co-parent, you won’t appreciate the detailed tracking in this app.

Most importantly, the app fees can get outrageous if you want to utilize the full functionality. You’re better off with a free app like Onward that has no hidden fees and an easy-to-use interface to track your finances.

Download: iOS and Android

Apps for Keeping a Shared Custody Schedule

When you have a parenting plan, especially one that you agreed upon in court, you need to keep records of how each person followed (or attempted to follow) it. Apps with a shared calendar feature can help you maintain accurate and easy scheduling.

Here are some great family calendar options. A couple of these are general calendars that can be used for your unique parenting situation, while others were designed as dedicated co-parenting apps.

1. Google Calendar

Cost: Free

Helpful features:

  • Google Calendar is attached to your Google account, so it syncs with your tasks and reminders
  • Ability to create multiple calendars for different children or co-parents
  • Integrates with third-party apps

Cons:

  • A shared Google calendar can reveal more information than you’d like to your ex
  • Opens the line for back-and-forth communication and long email threads
  • Limited to only creating events; no expense tracking or other functionality

If you already use Google Calendar, this is certainly the easiest option for making the transition to a shared co-parenting schedule. This is one you’re probably already using, but some parents ditch it post-divorce so their personal calendar is no longer accessible by their ex.

Download: iOS and Android

2. Alimentor 2

coparenting app: Alimentor 2

Cost: $3.99

Helpful features:

  • Alimentor keeps track of scheduled versus actual parenting time percentages
  • Log parent-child calls
  • Use “disagreement flags” to challenge the other parent’s actual time if necessary

Cons:

  • Upfront fees to download and use the app
  • Dated and inefficient design and user experience
  • Only available on iOS
  • Complicated and potentially unnecessary features

You know what they say about the best laid plans. It’s unlikely that both you and your co-parent will be able to follow your intended parenting schedule 100% of the time. This app takes that into consideration. But the $3.99 download fee might not be worth it due to the slow nature of the app and the less-than-stellar user experience.

Download: iOS only

3. Parentship

Cost: Free for a one month trip; paid plans start at $1.99 per month

Helpful features:

  • Parentship gives you the ability to suggest schedule changes
  • Digital document storage for things like birth certificate, Social Security card, and insurance card
  • Smart profile for each child in which you can store info like medication schedule, contacts for an activity, or a packing list

Cons:

  • Free usage is capped, then payment is required to continue using and getting value from the app
  • Buggy, with several users complaining of not being able to invite their co-parent
  • Confusing design and user experience with many unnecessary features
  • No ability to track shared parenting expenses

Your parenting plan might include a procedure for requesting schedule changes in advance, and Parentship lets you do so without officially changing a calendar event until the other parent agrees. With many users complaining of not even being able to send an invite to their co-parent, though, you might find this one frustrating.

Download: iOS and Android

4. Cozi

coparenting app: Cozi

Cost: Free or $29.99 per year for advanced features

Helpful features:

  • Cozi lets you add color-coded users so you can easily see which events are tied to each member of the family
  • Reminders can be set for certain users, so not everyone has to be notified of every event
  • Create shopping lists for keeping track of school supplies or sports gear
  • To-do lists for homework or chores

Cons:

  • Not built for the nuances of separated co-parenting
  • No expense tracking functionality
  • Outdated user experience and design
  • Some essential features only accessible behind the $29.99 annual paywall

Cozi is an app for a big family with people going in all different directions. It lets you remind just one kid about that cancelled basketball practice or notify Grandma about a new pick-up time, so there’s no more worry about forgetting to send a text when something changes last-minute. However, all users must have an email address to join. This renders it useless for families with younger kids or tech-challenged relatives.

Download: iOS and Android

5. FamCal

Cost: Free

Helpful features:

  • FamCal features color-coded calendars, to-do lists, and assignable tasks
  • Track birthdays for each family member
  • Share important moments with notes or photos, which are great for keeping kids connected with a long-distance parent

Cons:

  • Not built with the nuances of separated co-parenting in mind
  • Frequent bugs and reports from dissatisfied users
  • Missing key features such as third-party calendar sync for shareability

You can use FamCal to keep many different family members’ commitments organized in one convenient place. Having a centralized place to store vacation photos or your children’s milestones is also a nice plus, but shared albums on the iPhone or Google Photos are more convenient for most people.

Download: iOS and Android

6. WeParent

WeParent app

Cost: $9.99 per month or $99 per year; free 14-day trial

Helpful features:

  • WeParent allows you to invite unlimited family members to collaborate and see your child’s details
  • Group messaging for those times when you and the other parent both need to chat with a caregiver, teacher, or family member
  • Add seasonal, vacation, and other types of schedules to the calendar
  • Use built-in schedule templates (such as “every other weekend”) to save time

Cons:

  • Excessive push notifications and pressure to upgrade to the paid version of the app
  • Expensive subscription fees
  • Poor technical support
  • No organization of notes or documents
  • Lacks key customization features

If you’re lucky enough to have a village helping you out, you need a way to communicate with everyone who’s a part of your children’s lives. WeParent gives you the option to message a preschool teacher or babysitter and the other parent simultaneously in a simplified group chat.

But some users find the app glitchy and don’t love its unreliable scheduling features.

Download: iOS and Android

7. Fayr

Fayr app

Cost: $9.99 per month

Helpful features:

  • Fayr has a GPS locator to keep track of where you were at a specific time and date, reducing conflict about pick-ups and drop-offs
  • Customize time span for printable reports
  • Export monthly reports with your parenting stats, including communication frequency and expenses

Cons:

  • Numerous reports and negative reviews about buggy features or inefficient ways the app handles communication with your co-parent
  • Ongoing monthly subscription fee
  • Better for custody tracking than as a functional co-parenting tool
  • Poor user experience and quirky inefficient ways of handling key features

Have a 2-2-3 schedule or another setup with lots of back-and-forth? Fayr can help eliminate confusion about whose day it is and whether you arrived on time to the drop-off spot. But this app probably won’t be the best for anything beyond keeping track of your time sharing.

Download: iOS and Android

8. 2houses

2houses app

Cost: $12.50 per month; free trial available

Helpful features:

  • 2houses has a parenting schedule wizard that inputs repeating parenting time so you don’t have to enter each event separately
  • Schedule change requests
  • Sync with Google Calendar, iCal, or Outlook
  • Option to include alimony in expense reports
  • Journal for sharing photos, anecdotes, and news

Cons:

  • High mandatory subscription fee
  • Poor customer and technical support
  • Buggy and inefficient user experience

Not a fan of having to spend hours entering repeating events on a typical online calendar? The co-parenting schedule wizard in 2houses could be helpful. You can also use the desktop version to explore your family’s calendar, documents, and more in greater detail.

In fact, it’s almost too much detail for some families. If you won’t make use of things like the journal feature, this app will seem a bit bulky and complicated.

Download: iOS and Android

Apps for Court or Legal Issues

Just need an app for record-keeping for court or mediating your relationship with your co-parent? These two apps could provide the service you need.

1. OurFamilyWizard

Cost: $99+ for a one-year subscription per co-parent

Helpful features:

  • OurFamilyWizard lets you add child accounts with limited access
  • Grant third-party access to a lawyer or health professional
  • Certified documentation available to use in child custody cases
  • Option to add ToneMeter, a tool that reviews what you’ve written to help you avoid sending emotionally charged messages to your co-parent

Cons:

  • Often mandated or forced use imposed by courts
  • Poor design and complicated user experience
  • Expensive mandatory subscription fees ($99+/year)
  • 2.3 out of 5 star reviews in Google Play
  • Cannot use solo; requires cooperation of co-parent

OurFamilyWizard may be a good solution if your divorced hasn’t been finalized or you’re looking to keep immaculate records so you can request a change in your parenting plan. This app also gets your child involved with their own account, but lets you decide which parts of the family conversation they get to access.

However, if there are too many users involved in your account (e.g., lawyers), it could become a source of stress rather than an organizational help. This app was really designed for use in the most contentious divorces.

Download: iOS and Android

2. CoParenter

Cost: $12.99 per month

Helpful features:

  • CoParenter includes group and one-on-one coaching to help you reach agreements with your co-parent
  • On-demand mediation with family law professionals via chat
  • List of formerly solidified agreements that can be easily exported

Cons:

  • Numerous reviews of bugs and poor technical support
  • High monthly subscription fee
  • Confusing and inefficient user experience design
  • Cannot download documents sent by your co-parent
  • Messaging functionality is limited and has unnecessary requirements

CoParenter is unique because it can help you avoid court altogether. It’s an option if both you and your former partner are looking to keep things civil. Yet, it could be risky to solely rely on the limited legal advice you can get from an app.

Download: iOS and Android

Co-Parenting in the 21st Century Means You Need an App

You can certainly manage being divorced with children without a co-parenting app, but why would you? After seeing what a purposeful mobile app can do to ease tension and make things so much more convenient, you’ll never want to go back to the world of endless emails and phone calls again.

Download the Onward App today!

Chelsea Williams

Chelsea is a twice-divorced mom of two boys. She is happily single parenting and doing her best to balance two simultaneous co-parenting relationships. Despite the complications, Chelsea can see the beauty in her story and believes healing is possible for the whole family.