One of the most important aspects of reaching a final agreement on a divorce involves implementation – can the parties easily follow the guidelines set out in the Parenting Plan with minimal conflict and confusion. Most of the implementation issues involve tracking child or spousal support payments and communicating with regard to a child’s schedule. It turns out that some forward thinking individuals designed some easy-to-use apps for your smartphone or computer to eliminate disputes over these areas.
With support payments, not all parties are under a wage withholding order, and in those instances tracking who paid what when becomes a challenge without sufficient documentation. Not all obligors pay with a check, and not all obligees give receipts. So, two apps can help manage and record all payments – Support Pay and Our Family Wizard. Both apps require the parents to register and input certain information so the software can automatically track and record information, including payments made and on what date, as well as add other expenses for reimbursement, like medical visits or extracurricular activities. Using these apps centralizes payment amounts and payment history and takes the guesswork out of the process. Both apps require a fee, and the difference in price reflects the amount of “work” the apps do for you.
With activity tracking, parents that do not communicate well or like to communicate at all still need to make sure the other parent knows when the child has a scheduled event, whether a school activity or a soccer game or a religious observance. Two apps, Square Hub and 2Houses, serve as a specialized calendar and communication base for a family. Each parent simply inputs all activities onto the calendar and the software notifies the other parent. If a conflict arises, the parents can communicate through the app and make changes to the schedule as necessary. Both apps are currently free.
Technology cannot replace the need for parents to work together for the best interests of their child, but by eliminating common points of conflict it can help parents do more than they might otherwise. Also, one of the most common bases for modifying a divorce decree is the inability of one parent to communicate with the other parent about key matters relating to the health, education and welfare of the child. If you utilize these apps, you could reduce the likelihood you would have to go back to court.
If you have questions about tech applications for divorce, contact us – we can help.