Research About Co-Parenting, Online Tech, and the Best Interests of the Child

Technologies to Support Co-Parenting - Online Applications

Co-parenting applications, are designed to aid those going through divorce and co-parenting to manage their shared parenting agreement online. These applications are court ordered and are typically used in place of in person communication when it is felt that the situation is too high-conflict and complicated. The apps aim to streamline communication and include calendar functions, expense logs, and act as a communication medium. Our research has revealed that co-parenting apps are being relied upon in Canada, and specifically, in Ontario, by an increasing number of co-parents. While they have been widely available for approaching twenty years, there has recently been an explosion in the capacities and functionalities of these apps as well as the number of downloads of them and court orders requiring their use. 

 Our Work

With the support of the Law Foundation of Ontario and Carleton University's Department of Law and Legal Studies, this project was undertaken to examine what online technologies are available to support co-parenting, how those technologies, are being used voluntarily and by Court Order, how users are experiencing those technologies, and to critically evaluate how technology can, in future, be better leveraged to reduce levels of co-parent conflict and support the best interests of children. This website, the video, and the paper soon tobe released, are intended to provide clearer, more comprehensive information to the public about how they can seek access to justice through use of these technologies, as well as to inform co-parents about how these apps are built and used.


A Resource For Co-Parents

As a growing number of people in separation, divorce, and child custody matters, are self-represented, and as online technology grows in its capacities and ubiquity, judges in Ontario’s Family Courts have started to Order parties to use privately operated, for-profit, US-based apps to manage their conflicts concerning custody and access issues. Rebecca Bromwich of Carleton’s Department of Law and Legal Studies has received a research grant from the Law Foundation of Ontario’s Access to Justice Fund to take a closer look at the practice.

“Co-parenting is not a competition. It’s a collaboration of two homes working together with the best interest of the child at heart. Work for your kids not against them.”

-Dr. Anne Brown
"The best security blanket a child can have is parents who respect each other."

- Jane Blaustone


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