Co-parenting doesn’t have to be this hard!
Let’s look closer at OurFamilyWizard vs Talking Parents to see which app is right for you.
It’s normal for parents to be concerned about the impact of a divorce on their children’s mental health. But according to psychologists, it isn’t divorce per se that affects kids’ self-esteem, school performance, and mood—it’s conflict.
Whether you’re still in the midst of a divorce or you’ve been co-parenting for years, being able to minimize conflict with your ex is the best way to support your child(ren) in the long-term and foster healthy family relationships.
However, “minimizing conflict” is often easier said than done.
Fortunately, modern technology has given co-parents an easy way to communicate with their children and each other without fanning the flames of contention.
In this guide, we’ll compare and contrast two of the most popular co-parenting apps.
What Is a Co-Parenting App?
Co-parenting apps give divorced or separated parents a neutral platform where they can communicate about (and with) their children.
Unlike text messages, which can be retracted or deleted, messages sent in a co-parenting app are permanent, thus making sure that your communication history is accurate. This is vital for preventing any “he said, she said” arguments during mediation or a court hearing.
Furthermore, co-parenting apps allow you to organize info about your child—such as visitation schedules and medical history—in a format that both parents can access.
OurFamilyWizard vs TalkingParents
Two of the most popular such co-parenting apps are OurFamilyWizard and TalkingParents. Both of these apps offer messaging, video calling, and other helpful features, but which one of them is right for you? Let’s take a closer look.
Of the two apps, TalkingParents is the only one to offer a free plan, which does provide some helpful (albeit limited) features. Their Standard plan starts at $10 a month, while the Premium plan starts at $25 a month.
OurFamilyWizard’s plans start at a “choose your own” model, allowing you to select the features you need most. The next step up is their Essentials plan, at $12.50 a month, followed by the Premium plan at $18 a month.
Although OurFamilyWizard does not offer a free plan for parents, they do offer free accounts for children as well as third party accounts for additional family members (such as a grandparent) and practitioners, such as lawyers, mediators, or therapists.
They also offer discounts for military members and families in need.
While it might be habitual for you to send a text message or email, it can be difficult to communicate when conversations occur on multiple platforms. Messaging through a co-parenting app can help keep conversations streamlined and documented.
In both apps, messages are time-stamped and cannot be edited, retracted, or deleted. This can be especially helpful at establishing who said what (and when).
However, OurFamilyWizard’s ToneMeter™ feature goes the extra mile by notifying you of any messages that might sound aggressive or judgmental, giving you a chance to reword them.
Audio and Video Calling
Whether you’re parenting long-distance or just want to share a casual chat mid-week, regular phone and video calls are a great way to stay connected with your child.
OurFamilyWizard only offers calling on two of its three plans. The Essentials Plan allows 45 minutes a month, whereas the Premium plan gives you unlimited minutes. You can also choose when you’re reachable and the time and date of calls is automatically documented.
TalkingParents will let you receive phone calls on their free plan and receive phone and video calls on their Standard plan.
When you have joint custody, having a shared calendar makes coordinating your schedules much easier.
Both OurFamilyWizard and TalkingParents offer a color-coded shared calendar that lets you easily see when each of you has the children and also lets you add important dates (such as a school play or baseball game).
Whether you’re paying child support or reimbursing your ex for a school uniform, regular payments are a part of co-parenting. Fortunately, co-parenting apps make it easy.
Both apps allow you to make payment requests and send/receive funds that are automatically logged with a time-stamp to prevent unnecessary arguments.
You can make up to 8 payments a month with OurFamilyWizard’s Essentials plan, while the Premium plan lets you send and receive funds as often as you want.
TalkingParents’ free plan allows you to request and receive as many payments as you like, but only from Standard or Premium members.
Between doctor’s appointments, school, and extracurricular activities, keeping track of your child’s information across two households can be difficult. That’s where a shared information center can help.
Both co-parenting apps provide virtual access to a digital vault of helpful information—medical records, insurance information, even your child’s shoe size!
OurFamilyWizard provides up to 5GB of storage with the Essentials plan, as well as unlimited downloads. The Premium plan allows unlimited uploading as well as the option to request that certified documents be mailed to you.
The free version of TalkingParents only allows you to access and read documents, so you’ll have to upgrade to the Standard or Premium plans for more access.
Another helpful feature of both apps is a personal journal, allowing you to make relevant notes and observations that are not shared with your co-parent. This can help create a record of behavior that may not otherwise be noted in the app, such as your ex constantly picking up your children late.
Speaking of which, OurFamilyWizard offers another unique feature: GPS-verified check-ins to prove you showed up to visitations.
Which Co-Parenting App Should You Choose?
While TalkingParents’ free version may sound tempting, OurFamilyWizard offers many unique features, such as ToneMeter™ and GPS-certified check-ins. And if you’re going to upgrade to a Premium account to make sure you get the most out of the app, OurFamilyWizard is also the more affordable of the two options.
As much as we all want an amicable divorce, emotions tend to run high when families separate. Having an accurate record on a neutral platform is the best way to keep things civil.
And if one of you is having a hard time keeping their cool, it helps your case to have an accurate record that can’t be deleted.
At Leap Frog Divorce, we’ve guided hundreds of couples through their divorce and we pride ourselves at offering skilled legal advice at every turn.
We have seen incredible success come from using a co-parenting app like OurFamilyWizard and found that it makes our job as divorce lawyers much easier.
If you’re facing a divorce and need some advice on where to turn, schedule a consultation today.