Co-parenting can be overwhelming, or even toxic. Luckily, there’s an app for that. Co-parenting apps can simplify scheduling, keep everyone on track. The right app might even make co-parenting communication, schedules, activities and contacts easier and more effective.
Some single moms and dads use apps because a lawyer, judge or mediator mandated them to. But even with amicable divoces, co-parenting apps can be a great way to communicate, stay organized and have a better relationship with your child’s other parent.
Technology can go a long way in smoothing a path forward to a collaborative, peaceful co-parenting relationship.
What is the best co-parenting app?
A quality co-parenting app will help you keep track of important appointments, document kid drop-off/pick-up, tally expenses, show proof of payment, compliance and non-compliance, and share information and photos about the children's days.
Our #1 recommendation for a co-parenting app is Our Family Wizard. This is one of the oldest, and most widely used co-parenting apps, and has all of the recommended features, plus high user reviews. Our Family Wizard is also widely accepted by family courts — many of which require parents to use it.
- Our Family Wizard costs $99 per year, per parent, and has a 30-day free trial.
- Our Family Wizard offers discounts for military families, and a fee waiver to offer Our Family Wizard free for low-income parents.
- Each parent can also add unlimited numbers of add-ons, including kids, grandparents, bonus / step parents, babysitters and nannies, as well as attorneys and mediators.
- In the event that you must submit records to a judge, mediator or attorney, Our Family Wizard allows you to download submissible records.
- OurFamilyWizard's ToneMeter helps you type emotion-free texts and emails to your ex by flagging inflammatory words — before you hit send.
One of the first co-parenting apps, OurFamilyWizard lets you and your ex keep financial records, store and share info (“New babysitter’s number is…”), and contribute to an online diary. Its “message board” function lets you and your ex chat about the kids and keep each other up to date (“Leaving the birthday party now, will have Sadie back to you within half an hour”).
OurFamilyWizard has a tool called ToneMeter that can help improve co-parenting communication. The ToneMeter scans your texts as you write them, and points out “emotionally charge phrases” so that you can think – and maybe rewrite – before you send a message. Sorta a babysitter for the parents.
Once you sign up and login, OurFamilyWizard will give a monthly overview of co-parenting, including money spent (or reimbursed), number of messages sent/received and the percentage of time the kids were with you.
Available for Apple and Android, OurFamilyWizard has a 2.2 rating on Googe Play and a 2.0 rating on iTunes.
Our Family Wizard costs $99 per year, per parent, and has a 30-day free trial. Babysitters, kids and grandparents can be added for free. Our Family Wizard offers discounts for military families, and a fee waiver to offer Our Family Wizard free for low-income parents. Each parent can also add unlimited numbers of add-ons, including kids, grandparents, bonus / step parents, as well as attorneys and mediators.
Check out Our Family Wizard now >>
Or, read our review of OurFamilyWizard.
Is the Our Family Wizard co-parenting app court-approved?
Ask your attorney or judge, but OFW is approved by the most courts in the country — and many judges require parents use it (and may attorneys highly recommend it!).
Best app for co-parent communication
Co-parent communication involves more than just texting. Scheduling, negotiating inevitable schedules changes, expenses, documents, contacts and more are also critical. OFW does a good job of addressing these challenges.
Best app for a child custody calendar
Again, Our Family Wizard wins, thanks to the child custody calendar integration with the messaging, ability to request, accept and refuse change requests, as well as recording and requesting of expenses.
Here’s what you need to know about co-parenting apps, including a list of some of my favorites.
- Co-parenting app reviews
- Co-parenting app features
- Frequently asked questions about co-parenting apps
- Tips for how to use a co-parenting app
- What is the best co-parenting app?
More co-parenting app reviews
Search for “co-parenting apps” on GooglePlay or iTunes and you’ll be instantly overwhelmed. I’ve narrowed the field for you …
Cozi is a free co-parenting app that is designed for all families — separated or not. Cozi lets up to a dozen people share (and add to) your family’s calendar, which gives an at-a-glance description of your day.
A big Cozi feature is their list library (or create your own lists), family journal where you can share photos, keep notes and other info, as well as an appointment reminder. 100% free, or upgrade for a no-ad version for $29 per year. Download Cozi now >>
Read our Cozi review.
Is the Cozi co-parenting app court-approved?
Cozi is not generally considered a co-parenting app, per se, though many families use it as such. Many courts do not specify which co-parenting app you use, so if you and your ex work effectively with Cozi, and can document that for a judge, then it may be fine.
Talking Parents review
This one’s a hybrid: TakingParents is a co-parenting communications tool that has a free website version (where you will see ads), as well as a paid version for Apple and Android apps.
Both free and paid versions have messaging, a shared calendar and personal journal. The paid app also has features like file storage and unlimited downloads for conversations and journal records — which you may want or need for court appearances or mediation with your attorney.
Paid versions cost $5.99 to $19.99 per month. For free memberships, you can pay a one-time $9.99 fee for 24-hour access to download messages, calendar or expense PDFs. Certified versions of these records cost $39.99, plus 19 cents per page.
Depending on your needs, Talking Parents may be more expensive than OurFamilyWizard or Fayr.
TalkingParents has a 3.2 rating on Google Play and a 4.4 rating on iTunes.
Is the Talking Parents app free?
Yes, there is a free version, but with the paid version you have access to download messages and the calendar.
Is the Talking Parents co-parenting app court-approved?
TalkingParents is approved in many districts, but you should ask first.
AppClose review — totally free
Available for Apple and Android, AppClose is the only completely free co-parenting app in this list. Often billed as an alternative to OurFamilyWizard, AppClose has been around a long time and reports tens of thousands of users.
Along with features like messaging, shared calendars and the ability to create a shared parenting plan, AppClose has its own built-in payment platform, “ipayou,” with an integrated expense tracker. You or your ex can scan in receipts and request reimbursement, and then settle up electronically.
AppClose allows you to export (for free) all communication and calenders.
Messaging is done by text within the app, which you can do with your co-parent, alone or in a group chat with other family members or caretakers you can add (also for free). The messages are time- and date-stamped. Another feature, AppClose Solo, lets you send notes to people who aren’t connected through the app, through text, e-mail or social media.
AppClose is indeed totally free, but users report the calendar is not user-friendly, and overall user experience is poor compared to paid competitors.
AppClose has a 3.6 rating on Google Play and a 4.7 rating on iTunes.
Is the AppClose co-parenting app court-approved?
AppClose is approved in many courts, and many family attorneys recommend it, but you should make sure it is accepted by your judge if you are required to use a co-parenting app
This app has the expected features, such as a shared calendar, document library and check-in records. However, coParenter has something unique: a team of child specialists, mediators, therapists and retired judges on hand, ready to provide conflict resolution help in real-time. You can also ask for co-parenting coaching with any issues, and tips on effective co-parenting communication.
CoParenter costs $12.99 per month or $119.99 per year for one parent, or $199.99 per year for two parents. It has a 3.3 rating on Google Play and a 3.9 rating on iTunes.
Is the coParenter co-parenting app court-approved?
coParenting is approved by some courts.
The 2Houses app has the usual features, such as a shareable calendar, expense tracking, messaging and document storage.
If you’ve got kids with more than one ex, the website version of 2Houses lets you set up different “families” on the same account. And if an ex isn’t interested in joining the platform, you can invite a step-parent or other relative to step up.
2Houses costs $149.99 per year total, for both parents, and has a 14-day free trial. It has a 2.9 rating on both Google Play and iTunes.
Is the 2Houses co-parenting app court-approved?
Whether 2Houses is approved by your court requires you ask
Custody X Change review
Custody X Change has features typical of co-parenting apps, such as shared calendars and secure parent-to-parent communication. A useful feature is its custody plan template, which can save both cash and aggravation. For example, you might forget about expenses like school supplies, or that drop-off/pick-up transportation should be shared equally.
Custody X Change has three versions, all of which install directly from the browser. One is free but somewhat limited; the others cost $17 to $27 per month or $97 to $147 per year. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Is the Custody X Change co-parenting app court-approved?
Custody X Change is recognized by some courts.
Like other co-parenting apps, WeParent is designed to manage the ins and outs of separated/divorced parenthood. Features like a shared calendar, the custody schedule, secure messaging and document storage keep everything in one place.
You create an account, then link in your co-parent and anyone else you’d like; it’s possible to do group messages as well as co-parent communiqués.
There’s a 14-day free trial; after that, WeParent costs $7.99 per month or $69.99 per year. If you love the app, it’s possible to buy a lifetime subscription for $99.99.
WeParent has 4.6 rating on the Apple Store and a 2.8 rating on Google Play.
Is the WeParent co-parenting app court-approved?
WeParent is recognize by many courts.
The coparently website calls its product “an online scheduling and communication tool.” Instead of downloading an app, you create an account online and go from there.
It lets you see the schedule by day, week or month, and color-code schedules if you have more than one child. With coparently you can private-message your ex (or guest users), share documents, track expenses and request changes (“Being sent out of town Tuesday; can you keep kiddo an extra night?”).
The 30-day free trial really is free: no need for a credit card upfront. After that, coparently costs $9.99 per month per parent, or $99 per year.
Is the coparently co-parenting app court-approved?
coparenting is recognized by many courts — ask first.
Custody Connection review
Like so many other co-parenting apps, Custody Connection offers features like a shared, color-coded calendar (it syncs with iCal), document storage, custody schedule and instant messaging.
However, Custody Connection’s website is very dated-looking; in fact, the site is unencrypted. Customers complain about crashes, a lack of customer support and the fact that the app doesn’t work for iOS 11 and up; as a result, Custody Connection has a 1.9-star rating on the Apple store.
It’s compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. There’s a 30-day free trial; after that, you’ll pay $2.99 for the basic version, $9.99 for an annual subscription or $24.99 for an upgraded subscription.
Is the Custody Connection co-parenting app court-approved?
Custody Connection is dated, and probably not recognized by your judge, but you can ask!
Custody Junction review
Custody Junction is an older co-parenting website, with no app, and a very dated interface. There are other apps for a similar price of $47 per year.
Is the Custody Junction co-parenting app court-approved?
Family time is a broad-reaching parenting app that allows you to monitor and control your kid's screentime, call and text history, driving, location check-in, schedule, an SOS button, and more.
FamilyTime promotes itself as a co-parenting app that is useful for married and separated parents alike.
This is truly a robust parenting app that may make it easier for you to co-parent as well as monitor your kid.
Prices start at $29 per child device per year (for one kid), to $69 per year for 5 kids' devices, after a free 3-day trial.
Is the FamilyTime co-parenting app court-approved?
It may not be pre-approved, but your local court may accept FamilyTime as a co-parenting app.
Co-parenting app features
Apps vary, of course. But some features are fairly universal.
Co-parent and shared parenting plans
Some couples set up a parenting plan through their lawyers, and some create their own. Depending on how your separation and divorce shook down, you might be required to have regular check-ins with your ex, or even to take co-parenting classes.
Whether you share 50-50 parenting time, or a 3-3-4-4 days, 2-2-5-5, 2-2-3 days, or the old every-other-weekend special, you can plug these parenting schedules into any of the co-parenting apps.
Often, a judge will mandate you use a co-parenting app to work with your ex, including using one like Our Family Wizard that allows you to create a PDF of text exchanges, a record of on-time or missed visitations and expense sharing.
Co-parent and shared parenting schedules
Once your plans are in the app everything will be easy, right? Riiiight. Life happens, and sometimes the unexpected, or honest miscommunication wrecks your carefully organized co-parenting schedules.
The co-parenting app makes it easier to plan and adjust. Suppose your ex’s 20th high school reunion is announced. You check the app and sure enough, he’ll have the kids that weekend. Plenty of time for the two of you to arrange a trade.
Or maybe you have to head to an industry conference in three months. As soon as you have the dates, check the app to see if you need to switch days with your ex. Many co-parenting apps have a function within the calendar to request for a swap or trade, with the times of request and response being documented for future references.
Drop-off and pick-up times, field trips, music lessons, the school play – goof-ups are a lot less likely when everything’s in one place. Even the most well-intentioned parent sometimes flakes out on a PTA meeting. Joint-custody schedules can help. When it’s on the shared child custody calendar, you and your ex can either negotiate who has to go this time, or agree to attend together — whether you have a 50/50 custody schedule, or something else.
The calendars can often be synced with personal calendars like iCal or Google Calendar. Generally, they can be shared with other people, too. That way, Grandma won’t miss the piano recital, and your babysitter will know what nights your ex will be picking up the children.
You can share the calendar with your kids, too.
If you’re still feeling raw about the split it can be hard even to look at your ex, let along talk with them. Yet you know it’s best for the kids if their parents get along.
Can’t talk in person without wanting to cry or rage? The app lets you say what needs to be said, such as “Parent-teacher conferences are coming up” or “The kids need flu shots.”
But don't stop there. Try actual communication. For example, you could message, “Do you think our son is ready for sleepaway camp?” After all, your ex should have a say.
And if you’re making a serious effort to be the best co-parent ever, send a well-done-you! note: “Glad you took the kids sledding – they can’t stop talking about how much fun it was.” OurFamilyWizard allows you to share a pic
These kinds of messages will get you in the habit of talking to your ex. They’ll also remind you that you’re no longer a couple but you are co-parents.
Frequently asked about co-parenting apps
What is a co-parenting app?
Co-parenting apps help you and your ex juggle the craziness that is parenthood:
- Shared parenting schedule, including vacation and summer schedules
- Contacts for babysitters, grandparents, friends, the pediatrician, nanny, etc.
- Extracurricular and random appointments, including dentist appointments, school functions, sleepovers, music lessons, soccer games, parent-teacher conferences
Most app for divorced parents to communicate are mobile-based, although some rely on website-based versions.
Is there a co-parenting app for divorced or separated parents?
Yes! There are several quality apps for divorced parents to communicate, keep track of co-parenting schedules, medical and legal documents, share expenses, and otherwise manage co-parenting.
What about using Google Calendar instead of a co-parenting app?
Google Calendar and the whole suite of (free!) Google products is a great way for families to communicate and connect. The pros of using Google Calendar over another co-parenting app include:
- You already likely use Google, which makes it easy to integrate into your existing calendar and communication.
- Integrate into your co-parenting Google Drive for sharing documents and contacts.
How to use a co-parenting app
Whether you are using a co-parenting app by choice, the recommendation of your lawyer, or a court mandate, the same rules apply:
Co-parenting app tips
Using an app for co-parent communication is not just to comply with a custody agreement, but to actually get along with your ex — or at least to model respectful adult behavior for your kids, and minimize drama and conflict. Separation and divorce are tough, even if you were the one who initiated the split. Sometimes even basic, necessary communication feels like walking through a minefield.
1. Be consistent. Do not use your iPhone’s text function. Stick to always communicating with your co-parent within the app. Likewise with scheduling: Do not send your ex a calendar invite to change the schedule from your iCalendar, but use the agreed-upon co-parenting app’s functions. Make a habit of always documenting any child expenses immediately, including taking photos of receipts.
2. If you use an app like Our Family Wizard with a vault feature, scan and store important information like:
- Birth certificate
- Passport (and, if need be, a letter authorizing you to travel abroad with the kids)
- Information on allergies or dietary issues/restrictions and any medications your children take
- Insurance card
3. Be as helpful as you can and fill out contact information for people like coaches, doctors, teachers, school administrators, kids’ friends’ parents, babysitters and others — even if your co-parent does not reciprocate or thank you.
4. Do not add other people to the app without consulting with your other parent. For example, if you’d like to add your mom to the app to help with child care, but your ex and your mom have an ugly history, check with him first. Likewise, be practical and forgiving with your ex’s requests.
5. Use the co-parenting app as a neutral tool — not a weapon. While most co-parenting apps allow you to download and export time-stamped communication, calendar and expense histories for court submission, do not threaten your ex with these consequences. Instead, focus on the benefits of using an app to reduce conflict, confusion and misunderstandings. Similarly, if things do get ugly, the facts will be on your side with minimum conflict.
6. Respect your ex as an equal parent who’s just as responsible for your kids as you are. In other words, treat them the way you want to be treated: by staying in touch, and by sharing need-to-know info (“Kiddo had a fight with her best friend, so she might be feeling sad”). More tips and rules for positive co-parenting in this post.
7. Be nice. OurFamilyWizard's ToneMeter is a unique tool that points out that a text you just wrote (but have yet to send) may be nastier than you intended. Even if you are not using an app, keep language and tone neutral or positive. “Kids are due back at 7 o’clock – don’t be late again, dickhead,” should give way to, “See you guys at 7.”
Better yet, by using a co-parenting app consistently, you will no longer need to remind each other of schedules or appointments since you will each be accustomed to referencing the shared calendar first.
Wealthysinglemommy.com founder Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, activist and author. A former Associated Press reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has appeared on CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, TIME, The Doctors, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine. Winner of Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web” and a New York Observer “Most Eligible New Yorker,” her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was a New York Post Must Read. A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Emma's Top Single Mom Resources.