In an event of separation or divorce and when children are involved, it is imperative to create a detailed guideline for each parent to follow to minimize conflict and to maximize harmony and continuity in parenting.
Thus, a detailed, focused separation agreement should be implemented providing visitation and custody schedule, medical and educational responsibilities, as well as holidays and summer calendar and also conflict resolution channels such as parenting coach or mediator to step in when needed to de-escalate conflict.
Considering the best interests of the child as the paramount criteria and given the complexities and difficulties in single parenting — it is always recommended to follow an effective co-parenting model.
Additionally, due to significant cultural as well as traditional social role shifts that began taking place in the second half of 20th century, both parents have been assuming increasingly equal roles in all aspects of child-rearing. As a result, both parents predominantly engage in shared custody arrangements.
Moreover, co-parenting provides significant psychological benefits for the children such as higher self-esteem, better academic performance, reduced behavioral issues, and overall happier and more balanced children. Co-parenting also would allow for sharing of child expenses and child rearing stresses and responsibilities.
Overall, shared custody model is designed to promote best interest of the child, albeit it can be negatively affected by the phenomenon called parallel parenting, where each co-parent engages in independent, non-cooperative parenting duties, which manifests with conflicts throughout the divorce process. More importantly, it puts the child in the epicenter of stressful environment associated with the battle over the custody.
In order to buffer the conflict and streamline the co-parenting process, various co-parenting apps have been developed to assist the parents to executed the daily needs of the children while minimizing conflict sometimes through artificial intelligence and algorithm.
Below are a list for some of the popular apps and some of the basic parameters:
- Online and mobile communication tools;
- Co-parents improve calendaring issues;
- Track shared expenses, and store accurate, up-to-date contact information;
- Add children to the account so that they can use it to communicate with parent;
- Access to important medical information, including prescription history and contact information for each of your kids’ doctors.
Our Family Wizard:
- Parents to manage all aspects of their shared parenting agreement online and in one place;
- Color-coded child custody calendars to share visitation schedules;
- Secure messaging, family information storage (for things like immunization records);
- Shared expense payment and management, and more;
- Communication algorithm to reduce conflict.
There is also Cozi, Google Calendar and Talking Parents each providing additional feature useful in the co-parenting process.
The most important factor in a co-parenting environment though is the parents’ understanding and recognition to put the children’s interests above theirs and to set aside personal conflicts and disagreements and to focus together on the children and their best interests.
Refer to our Family Law page for more information on this topic.