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Online Parenting Tools and Software


Parenting children with two separate households can be a daunting task. The task is made even more difficult when one or both parents must travel for work frequently, such as military members who deploy or change duty stations from time to time, or where parents live in areas that are geographically distant.

Fortunately, there are a number of online parenting software programs that area available which many separated or divorced parents find useful to facilitate communication, scheduling parenting time and making decisions in the best interests of children. These tools help parents look ahead to schedule holiday and vacation time, set up video conferences, doctor’s appointments, extracurricular activities and more.

The services, which are either Internet based or downloadable, offer a wide range of options for parents to choose from. The larger programs include photo sharing, family journals, time-tracking, expense logs and many other useful tools. The simpler programs tend to be online calendars geared towards family planning and scheduling. The larger programs have more options built in to assist parties who have difficulty communicating with one another. These are especially helpful when a military member is deployed far from home in another time zone where access to a computer is only available when the rest of the family members are sleeping.

The following are a few examples. The prices and availability are subject to change and as such, the information below cannot be guaranteed.

1. Our Family Wizard (www.ourfamilywizard.com/ofw/): This particular service is geared towards separated, divorced and living apart parents. All information saved to the site is backed-up and secure. This is a service that would be useful to parents who find that their challenge is communicating with one another.

Features:
The parent account allows access to:

  • Private and Shared Family Calendar
  • Message Board
  • Notifications and Reminder
  • Journal
  • Information Bank
  • Important Documents
  • Expense Log
  • Family Resource Section
  • E-Coupons

The child account allows each child their own account with access to:

  • Shared Family Calendar
  • Message Board
  • Create and View Journal Entries
  • Receive Notifications and Reminders

Price:

  • $99.00 for one year (approx. $8.25/month)
  • $179.00 for two years (approx $7.46/month)

2. ParentingTime.net (www.parentingtime.net): This is the home of OPTIMAL which is the Online Parenting Time Information Manager and Access Log. OPTIMAL is a one year subscription based service which is geared for custody arrangements. Its central focus is on the “Tracker” module which records and tracks parenting.

Features:

  • Custody calendar
  • Child Support Tracker
  • Private Message Center
  • Graphs & Statistics
  • Print & Export
  • Tasks & Notes
  • Time Tracker
  • Private Journal
  • ‘At a Glance’ Homepage
  • Contacts & Address Book
  • Personal Preferences
  • Guest User Features

Price:

  • $149.95 for a 1-year unlimited access subscription billed yearly

3. FamilyCrossings.com (www.familycrossings.com): This online service is not solely directed towards separated, divorced and living apart parents, but rather a service that provides each family with its own website. You can visualize family data with maps, time lines and tag clouds. Family Crossings offers both a free and subscription service.

Features: Free: This version offers less storage space and has sponsor advertisements visible. Families can access a number of features that could be helpful in family organizing and information sharing.

  • News
  • Photos
  • Calendar
  • Address Book
  • Live IM style chat
  • Gift Center
  • Storage – 150 MB

Premium: Families have more storage space and no advertisements. There are also six more features than the free version. You can also add storage space if need be.

  • News
  • Photos
  • Calendar
  • Address Book
  • Live IM style chat
  • Gift Center
  • Family history
  • Family Database
  • Wish List
  • Family Polls
  • Special Offers
  • Games
  • Storage – 250 MB

Prices:

  • The standard version is 19.95/year.
  • The premium version is $9.95/month

4. CustodyToolbox.com (www.custodytoolbox.com): This is a downloadable Windows program that is designed for custody situations.

Features:

  • Calendar
  • Child Information
  • Journal
  • Parenting-time Report
  • To-Do List
  • Address Book

Price:

  • 15 day free trial available
  • $49.95 to purchase the software

5. Cozi.com (www.cozi.com): This is a free online service that helps manage a family’s schedule. This is not geared specifically towards divorced, separated or living apart parents.

Features:

  • Family Calendar
  • Customizable Lists
  • Reminders & Messages
  • Mobile access
  • Journal
  • Photo Collage
  • Outlook Sync

Price:

  • Free

6. Easysite.com (www.easysite.com): This is an online service that helps manage a family’s schedule, share pictures, audio files, calendars and family information.

Features:

  • Family Calendar with Reminders
  • Message Board
  • Family Page
  • Blog
  • Chat Room
  • Guestbook

Price:

  • Free “Limited package” Sample site
  • $4.95 a month “Standard package”
  • $10.95 a month ” Premium package”
  • $24.94 a month ” Photography package”

7. ShareKids.com (www.sharekids.com): This is an online co-parenting system designed to assist individuals in managing child sharing between homes.

Features:

  • Family Calendar
  • Events and Activities Tracking
  • Medical Information
  • School and Homework Information
  • Accounting
  • Contacts
  • Photo Galleries
  • Private Chat Room
  • Guest Access
  • Message Center
  • Personal Diary
  • Custody Agreement
  • Resource Center

Price:

  • Free for one month trial period
  • $15.00 per month per parent
  • $150.00 per year per parent

8. Custody X Change (www.custodyxchange.com): This is a downloadable software program that makes it easy to create visual calendars, parenting plans, and timeshare reports, calculate timeshare and overnight percentages, track the actual parenting time for each parent, organize a daily custody journal and include stipulations into parenting plans.

Features:

  • Family Calendar
  • Create Parenting Plans and Custody Agreements
  • Synchronization to PDA
  • Outlook Sync
  • Percentage Calculator

Price:

  • Free trial period of 30 days
  • $67 for the Lite version
  • $147 for the Personal version
  • $297 for the Deluxe version

Contact an Experienced Colorado Child Custody Lawyer for More Information

Contact Lynn Landis-Brown, P.C., to consult with a Colorado Springs family law attorney for counsel and representation in child custody and visitation, child support, child relocation or paternity matters.

Lynn Landis-Brown, P.C., represents clients in the Pikes Peak area, Front Range area, and Rocky Mountain area of Colorado, including Colorado Springs, Castle Rock, Monument, Woodmoor, Broadmoor, Manitou Springs, Fort Carson, Fountain, Cimarron Hills, Black Forest, Canon City, Woodland Park, Cripple Creek, Victor, Parker, Pueblo, Peterson Air Force Base, Schriever Air Force Base, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station; United States Northern Command (NORTHCOM), Northern American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), El Paso County, Teller County, Douglas County, Adams County, Elbert County and Fremont County.