How Technology Can Aid Co-Parenting
Co-parenting can be a challenge for separated and divorced parents, but improvements in technology have made it easier to build flexibility into visitation schedules and shared living arrangements. Like just about everything else, when it comes to co-parenting, there’s an app for that.
Apps and online calendars make planning children’s schedules much easier. How do you remind your ex about the soccer game on Saturday? How do you include the dreaded school half days on both of your calendars? You can share a calendar online, for starters. Google’s free calendar, for example, lets you fill in the basics of your child’s visitation, school and activities schedule and allows your ex to view and edit it. Both parents can add appointments, business travel or an event your child’s teacher mentioned at pickup. This keeps everyone in the loop and avoids the “how was I supposed to know” arguments that can otherwise arise.
But following a shared family calendar is only as helpful as the parents’ discipline in using it. Other apps offer more comprehensive features, such as secure messaging platforms, document sharing and to-do lists. These helpful services range in price from free (with ads) to about $10 per month.
For parents who travel a lot, work long hours or live in different towns, supplementing physical visits with virtual visits on social media can help bridge the gap. FaceTime, Facebook, Google, Skype and other services offer video chats that are free to use from your laptop or cell phone. Virtual visits are a great way for kids to have visual contact with another parent in their home, office or hotel room. Likewise, a parent can see the children in their own environment, enabling such interactions working on homework together and checking out a new haircut. This allows a parent and child to be part of each other’s daily routine, even when they are not together.
With time, co-parents usually settle into a routine and integrate communication into calendars, texts, email and online platforms. When those resources aren’t enough and problems with visitation persist, parents should seek the help of an experienced family law attorney. In certain circumstances, you may want to pursue child custody modification.
Matthew Gilbert of the Gilbert Law Office is a skilled and experienced San Antonio family law attorney who can answer questions about your rights concerning child custody, visitation and other family law matters. To set up a consultation, call us at (210) 319-5576 or contact us online.