Parent Plan – a valuable tool to help parents communicate and stay organised
Even the most amicable of separating parents can struggle with the trials and tribulations of organising their children’s lives when they are no longer living under the same roof. It is hard enough keeping on top of the range of activities and commitments today’s children have when you are living together but factor in a divorce or separation and two households and it becomes even more complex.
As family lawyers we can often advise and share sensible tips for how to manage this transition and you can read a useful guide I have prepared by clicking on the link to our website below:
Once you and your former spouse or partner are living apart and co-parenting the key to managing your children and their lives is communication, communication, communication!
For example, we often tell our clients that a contact book that goes with the child in their bag and where you can record useful information such as “Daisy, needs to do her math’s homework”, or, “please use the dreaded nit comb as Jacob has the little friends visiting again!” can be of great assistance.
Modern technology has made this process even easier than ever before. Many separated parents now communicate via email and text which is really helpful when used positively to support their children’s lives.
More recently though, I have come across a website called Parent Plan:
https://www.parentplan.com/ where the home page reads:
“Modern family life is demanding, it can be an endless juggling of appointments and activities and important dates to keep everyone happy. As parents, we understand the need to simplify the family diary and bring back some control to your life. So we’ve come up with the updated 21st century version of the whiteboard planner….. Parent plan is a secure online/cloud-based planner and multi-media storage system that helps families stay organised at the touch of the button. Designed by parents and for parents”.
Already acclaimed by many leading family law practitioners including Sir Paul Coleridge, a Judge in the High Court Family Division, who said:
“Every now and then an idea comes along which is so simple and clever you are left wondering why it has not been thought of before. Poor communication between family members is one of the primary causes and first casualties of family breakdown……In the age of social media this product has the potential to really provide practical help to separating couples (and indeed all busy parents caught up in the maelstrom of modern life)”.
With parent plan you can keep all the upcoming events in your children’s lives in one calendar, share events with other members of your group (which could include not just the separated parent but other carers including grandparents, nannies or child minders) and store important documents in one place such as school reports, medical notes, holiday documents etc.
Their promise is that it provides a shared platform which can only be accessed by members of your group and so remains safe and cannot be viewed by anyone else. It can be accessed via your computer, tablet or mobile telephone so is completely portable.
As of yet the site is in its early stages but, as a family lawyer, I shall certainly be talking to my clients about the possibilities this provides to help with the transition from parents living together to parents living apart.
Given the numbers of intractable contact disputes I see which have at their focus and core lack of communication and the mistrust that this perpetuates, Parent Plan could prove to be a great shared resource for the most important people in your lives – your children.
If you wish to discuss any of the points raised in this article, please contact a member of the family team