A new co-parenting app, Divvito, has recently hit the market and is available free of charge from the App Store and Google Play. It’s targeted at separated parents and allows them to communicate on a secure platform.

Funnily enough, this isn’t the first of its type.

Coparently is an expensive option but also allows children to have access to the account and message both parents (for example for forgotten items or scheduling requests). This allows for parents with equal shared parental responsibility to be transparent about decisions that affect the children’s life, or other minor decisions such as going to parties or attending school functions. It allows the parent, whom might not have full-time care of a child, the right to keep informed about their child’s life. The app also stores family medical history and emergency contacts.

Cozi is more of a calendar-based app, with a shopping list, meal planning to-do list, and a family journal feature that can keep both parents on track of their child(ren)’s milestones. The shopping list and meal planning feature would be extremely important for children with allergies or serious illnesses. The to-do list feature would allow parents to keep track of their children’s homework and long term assignments.

One of the major differences with Divvito is that the messaging tool flags defamatory or aggressive words. It delays the sending of such a message, prompting the user to revise the message or stop and consider the potential consequences of the message. If they send the message as it is, the app will automatically change defamatory words to less confrontational language (e.g. replacing ‘dickhead’ with ‘popcorn head’).

Conversations can be organised into groups to allow them to discuss certain topics in a message chain, similar to normal phone messaging. This helps keep their attention focussed on the issue at hand such as sports, family events of appointments. Messages cannot be deleted, which is useful in the event of disputes over what has been discussed or said. It has a great privacy feature, showing only that a message has been received so that children can’t accidentally see the message.

Any of these apps can improve the frequency and focus of communication between separated parents, but does not diminish the responsibility of parents for their own actions.

Contact Matthew at our Hume Taylor & Co Whyalla office, or any of our other experienced lawyers in Adelaide to make an appointment today if you are having issues with your ex-partner, such as they are being difficult to communicate with or is contravening existing parenting orders.