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Divorce-Related Apps to Reduce Conflict for Everyone

Most divorces are resolved amicably without going to court. Court trials are expensive, and while we as attorneys may relish the challenge and adrenaline of a trial, divorce court isn’t great for your pocketbook or your stress level!

One notorious divorce case (not ours) recently ended after winding through the courts for twenty years, during which one judge noted, “there have been dozens of hearings before numerous judges, many of whom are now retired; some are now dead.”* Yikes!

Divorce brings challenges regardless of whether your situation is resolved through the courts, mediation, or the collaborative process. As family relationships have evolved, so has technology to reflect the challenges in those relationships. There are now apps to help you navigate the situation in which you find yourself.

Which app is best for you? Depends on your situation. (Yes, we know, such a lawyerly answer!)

Below are some great options to help you manage life after the end of a relationship.

WE MAKE IT WORK FOR THE KIDS

Our Family Wizard

https://www.ourfamilywizard.com

You never thought you’d be divorced but, well, here you are. You’re making the best of a difficult situation for the sake of your children and for yourself, too.

Our Family Wizard (OFW) is court-approved and well-established, having been around since 2001. OFW is downloaded by both parents, children if desired, and, if needed, by any third parties such as family law attorneys. It has a secure message board that keeps a record of all written communication between parents within the app—including when a parent sends or reads a message—that can never be edited, deleted, or retracted.

Visitation, school events and doctor appointments can be set up in the calendar and parenting time swap requests can be made within the app. Parenting time exchanges can be verified with GPS check-ins.

There’s an Info Bank to store everything from clothing sizes to medical information to emergency numbers. There’s also an Expense Log for expense reimbursement requests, child support and receipt images.

OFW’s most helpful tool is perhaps ToneMeter, a tool that reads over messages searching for “emotionally charged” language before sending, thus giving you a chance to rethink messages that may lead to unnecessary conflict.

Prices start at $99 per year. There are multiple price levels and waivers for families in financial need.

CHILD CUSTODY/CHILD SUPPORT DISPUTE

Alimentor 2

https://alimentor.org/en/

Alimentor is a child custody calendar app in which you document your parenting time, either before or after a custody agreement is reached. It can be used when establishing child custody or to monitor a child custody agreement. The more you can keep a clear head and deal in facts rather than react emotionally, the better. Less acrimony is better for everyone, especially the children.

Track parent time by logging pick-ups and drop-offs. The app allows you to log the date, time and duration of parent-child calls, including those that are unanswered, and see the timeshare percentage of total hours and overnights.

You can track changes to the parenting plan, see where visits line up with holidays, and create detailed, color-coded schedules that you can share with the other parent.

Alimentor also lets you track expenses and reimbursements and export all the data to a spreadsheet, and create court-admissible reports.

Email messages that can be used during a custody dispute can be converted into PDF documents and store it in the app. Alimentor 2 for iOS features a built‑in document scanner for capturing and processing paper documents such as receipts or letters.

Available for iOS, Android

$2.99

WHO’S WATCHING THE KIDS

OurPact-Parental Control App

https://ourpact.com

OurPact is a broad-reaching parental control app, text/app/website blocker, and family locator offering screenshot views of your child’s online activity. While not specifically designed for divorced parents, it can help parents keep track of their child’s safety and welfare regardless of how the parents are getting along.

Customizable filters allow you to filter for sexual content, violence and all adult content. You’ll also get control over individual apps (usage and installation), text blocking, software blocking and screen time allowance.

As of this writing, OurPact breaks its features into three pricing tiers. Free users can control a single child’s device with up to five manual blocks per month and a single automated block schedule. 

Upgrading to OurPact Premium for $6.99 a month gives you up to 20 child devices, including unlimited manual blocks, unlimited automated block schedules and a number of other features.

OurPact Premium Plus, at $9.99 a month, includes all app features such as screenshot captures.

Please note that this will require a bit of patience to set up on your children’s devices. You will need to know their passwords and how to get to their settings. While this may intimidate tech novices, you are a capable, intelligent person. You can do this.

WE JUST GREW APART

COZI Family Organizer

Cozi Homepage

Available for iOS, Android or desktop

Not specifically designed for divorced families, Cozi is a great solution if the children are grown and everyone gets along well. This is ONE ACCOUNT with ONE SHARED FAMILY PASSWORD that everyone signs into with their own email address.

Cozi is a level playing field for everyone to interact as adults when scheduling family get togethers. Up to a dozen people can share the color-coded calendar. You can set reminders for yourself (and others) for important events. You can even send automated daily or weekly agenda emails to any family member, although it might get annoying to be on the receiving end of that.

One feature we really like is the Family Journal, making it super easy to upload a photo, add a sentence or two, and send it to as many people as desired. This is a way to keep everyone up-to-date on the moments happening in each other’s lives, or the lives of grandchildren, and creates an ongoing ‘scrapbook’ of the family happenings that can be revisited within the app when desired.

Other features include being able to create To Do Lists, such as chore checklists for the children, or a packing checklist. There’s also a Recipe Box feature from which you can add ingredients to the app’s shopping list and schedule meals into the calendar.

Free

MOVING FORWARD

Mend

https://app.letsmend.com

Mend began as a ‘personal coach for the brokenhearted’ and it is now testing a second option for people feeling burned out. It can help you find your sense of self and redefine your life post breakup. You’ll explore topics such as ‘detoxing’ from an ex, loving yourself as much as you’d like to be loved by another person, and letting go of a future that you’d dreamed about with someone that is no longer in your life.

When creating your account, Mend asks a few questions about your last relationship, such as the reason for the breakup and the last time you had any contact with your ex. You then begin short, daily sessions to walk you through the confusion and suffering of a broken heart. While not intended to be a substitute for professional counseling, the audio sessions are reassuring and helpful.

Mend is not specifically designed for people going through divorce, however the developer says about 20% of users are just that.

iOS only. First sessions are free, then multiple price plans are offered.

These aren’t the only apps available of course. There are any number of similar options that might work for you, your family and your financial situation. Perusse Nixon PLLC is not affiliated with any of the products mentioned and received no remuneration for including them in this article. You should review any product specifications carefully before download and purchase to determine whether it is appropriate for your specific situation.

*Wilmot v Wilmot, [2019] EWHC 2765 (Fam)

At Perusse Nixon PLLC, we offer quality representation to our clients in the Denver and Minneapolis metro areas. We’ve been practicing family law a combined 30 years and believe in prompt and honest communication with our clients. Experience makes a difference in winning or losing your case.

If you’re in need of a family law attorney, don’t hesitate to reach out to Perusse Nixon.

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