Co-parenting isn’t easy. But it can be easier when you remember that it’s not about you or your ex: it’s about your kids, and giving them the happy childhood they deserve. I’ve compiled a few of my favorite resources to help you start out on the right foot.
What it is: A calendar with magnets representing Mom, Dad, appointments and activities that kids can rearrange based on visitation schedule.
Why I love it: Involving your kids by letting them visualize their own schedule helps them feel informed and in control. When your kids know “the plan” they feel like they’re part of it – and they can help you implement it.
What it is: Software that lets you create highly customized parenting plans, based on your child’s age and specific scenarios, from long-distance parenting to summer vacations to holidays, third party sharing schedules and more.
Why I love it: We love the level of customization this software enables, and the thoughtful questions you’re asked to answer as you put your plan together.
What it is: Dr. Robert Emery is a recognized expert in family relationships and children’s mental health, including parental conflict, divorce, and child custody. His sample co-parenting plans provide thoughtful questions to consider about your own situation, and he provides important reminders along the way, such as: there is no such thing as an “ideal” custody sharing schedule.
Why I love it: These co-parenting plan templates are not just offered by your child’s age, they’re also offered by the type of situation you and your ex may find yourselves in, be it cooperative, long-distance, or angry.
What it is: An app that helps you share child custody with your ex by tracking parenting time, sharing important family information, managing expenses and creating an accurate, clear log of divorce communication.
Why I love it: This platform lets you track and store more than just visitation dates. We love the easy all-in-one ability to track expenses and to capture communication. And we also really love that kids with phones can download and use the family calendar and message board features of the app, too, helping them stay in the loop, participate in and feel ownership of their schedules. We also like that the app has a feature that lets you communicate with your lawyers, free of charge (including lawyers from Hello Divorce and our partner firm, Levine Family Law Group).
What it is: Up to Parents is a website created by a therapist and a criminal defense attorney – both of whom have experienced divorce with children – who wanted to create a free resource that helped divorcing parents stay focused on their children as the co-parenting relationship begins.
Why I love it: Through videos and interactive content, Up to Parents lets you work at your own pace to think through your child/children’s needs. You’ll work through exercises that help you think and feel from your child’s perspective and that help you focus on the positive experiences you can create for your child to help them have a happy childhood. We love the reminders along the way that despite the differences you may have, you and your ex will always have your children in common, and it is only the two of you who can ensure their interests remain front and center in this new chapter of your family life.