Insights and Inspiration
Apps and Communication for Separating Parents
07 December 2017
The are some incredible and innovative Apps available that make communications for separating families much easier whether those families are still separated under one roof or not.
I especially find that when clients are living under one roof and they have children that extra care needs to be taken to ensure that opportunities for conflict in front of the children are reduced. Using Apps to assist with this can be very beneficial.
Two Apps that I have found that can make life easier in this space are 2houses or Our Family Wizard. It's worth it to take the time to set it up and having the shared commitment to use it will pay long term dividends, keep children out the centre of the conflict and protect them.
These Apps allow parents to share calendars, photos, make and request changes to arrangements, share child support information, reimbursement information, financial information etc and tries to ensure that both parents are on the "same page" and know what's happening with the kids. The best of all is that the App achieves this without parents having to communicate directly with each other. At a time when emotions are running high this is particularly useful and has a positive impact on the children.
Some Judges have started ordering parents to use these or other similar Apps.
Our Family Wizard has a message board facility which will show whether parents are meeting their positive communication oligations with the other parent and informing them of appointments for the children and other events. If both parents know there will be a log of these communications it often translates into better parenting behaviours which means more co-opeartive parenting and the benefits to the family unit as a whole are fantastic. The App has an additional feature which has a tonemeter to review the tone of the messages!
The research has found that following separation and divorce chidren are twice as likely to have emotional, social, behavioural and academic problems than children from intact families. One of the factors that affects this is high parental conflict following separation. The behaviour that has been found to have the worst effect is where parents place children in the middle of their dispute. Often this happens unintentionally. Using the App can ensure it doesn't happen at all by taking the topic off the table for discussion at least until emotions have settled.
Using technologicial advances in the family law setting for separated families can be invaluable and positive for the family. I can highly recommend them to take the sting out of the arrangements in the early days and in helping to set up arrangements that work seamlessly in the interests of the children. You can sign up for a free trial – you might want to give it a go.
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