I Tried Co-parenting With An App And It Blew My Mind!
(First published on DivorcedMoms.com 8/17/2017 by Audrey Cade/Divorce Warrior)
Like most going through a divorce, I took the required divorce parenting class mandated by the court. I heard messages like “don’t say bad things about the other parent in front of your children” and “be on time to custody exchanges, and don’t cause any drama there!”
I don’t recall any sage words of co-parenting advice from my lawyer. A few friends bestowed advice on me, much that didn’t make a lot of sense until I was already in the trenches parenting my two children, with my ex, alternating every other week.
I didn’t know what I was doing. He didn’t know what he was doing. We just sort of figured it out as we went. Often, we learned things the hard way, after doing it wrong multiple times. Over the years, we have developed a sort of system that gets us by; but, our path was often cleared by trial and error, arguments, and being burned more than once.
I am now keenly aware of how much time and effort it takes to co-parent! My ex and I must communicate about schedules, medical issues, school concerns, shared expenses, and much more. Only, we no longer live under the same roof; and, although our co-parenting relationship has found a peaceful resting place, it wasn’t always so!
There’s nothing worse than trying to talk to someone about the little human you love more than anything when that someone broke your heart, betrayed you, and the two of you can’t even look at each other without a fight breaking out! How can you get on the same page about a child’s homework, a bill from the eye doctor, or anything else when there is no system to hold your fragile broken family in place or a neutral and safe way to come together as parents?
You might say that my ex and I eventually developed a DIY way of organizing and communicating. I finally learned to take a picture of every doctor bill or receipt with my phone and text it to him so that both of us would have a copy and I would have evidence that I shared it. While we do still talk on the phone, I have learned that all important dates and details should be delivered in text so we both have a way to refer back to what we discussed and proof of the conversation.
My method has been the “figure it out as you go way”, a very amateur means to solve the many issues of co-parenting.
This is why I am so impressed and thankful that another divorced parent not only “gets” the issue, but figured out a way to address them!
Michael Daniels quickly recognized the struggle of parenting with an ex after his divorce. He discovered that co-parenting can mean continuous miscommunication, disagreements, and the challenge of trying to work with a person whom we would rather not- because they’re our ex! He came to understand that putting his children through years of the typical co-parenting scenario wouldn’t be best for them, as it’s not best for any of our children, and he had a brilliant idea!
Michael followed his idea to the development of an app called Fayr, which manages co-parenting’s top complications. We all carry a phone with us everywhere we go, so why not use it as a tool to organize parenting schedules and activities for the children, communication, and shared expenses? You could do it the way I have been all along, or you could do it the “Fayr way!”
Fayr, which stands for Family Advocacy is Your Responsibility (I love that!), represents Michael’s vision to make divorced parenting not only fair, but also without all of the typical conflict and pressure of the relationship.
The communication feature allows parents to pass information back and forth between parents. Yes, it is the same method as texting; but, because it is the co-parenting app, parents are more naturally inclined to keep communications within the app child-centered. Should an ex wish to start discussing non-child-related issues, the other parent could direct those matters to a typical text conversation; but, within the parenting app, it’s all about the kids!
The beauty of using an app to co-parent, is that everything you need is contained within that app. If you’re like me, I would have to scan through all of my texts to find conversations with my ex, then conversations between us about specific issues. With Fayr, communication is only between co-parents, and only about the kids. I would also no longer have to search through all of the pictures in my phone or old text messages to find record of a payment notification I’ve made because Fayr has a section dedicated to maintaining copies of bills and receipts, a record of when each parent was notified of the expense, and when it was paid.
Co-parents will enjoy having Fayr’s shared calendar that both can easily access, add comments to, and quickly identify each of their designated times with the kids. I have always maintained a “his week/her week” calendar on my desktop; however, although it keeps me organized, it’s not something I wish to share with my ex. I manage all of my own personal and work appointments on this calendar; so, it’s not specific or private enough to allow him access. But, how nice it would be for each of us to open a shared calendar and see the same color-coded dates, and be able to add notes to events?
One of the most appealing things about using an app is that it serves like a file cabinet for everything related to co-parenting. My ex and I will be less likely to forget, miscommunicate, or argue because everything goes through one streamlined platform; but, should we have a dispute about anything, either of us can easily print off an expense or communication report, which also makes compiling documentation for court a breeze, should that become necessary!
I’ve tried co-parenting my way. I sure wish I would have had a tool like the Fayr app available to me from the start of my co-parenting adventure! I can only imagine how many misunderstandings may have been avoided had we been better organized and had a shared place to conduct our business in a way that benefits our whole family!
Michael pitched Fayr on Apple Music’s Planet of the Apps show, where he won the support of conscious uncoupling advocate, Gwyneth Paltrow, who now serves as the head advisor.”
Consider putting technology to work for you to take the hassle out of co-parenting! The Fayr app is available in the App Store for $4.99 per month, and is coming soon for android.
Divorce Warrior: Support for all Phases of Divorce