When folks divorce or break-up it can be messy and often times devastating for all involved. It can be especially hard on the children who are caught in the middle. Family court is such a drag and while its necessary to establish primary or shared custody, visitation, child support etc, it’s not the easiest system to navigate. There is a new app on the market that aims to solve some of your co-parenting woes and create a little more ease as you navigate your new normal.
WeParent.app was designed to address all of your co-parenting needs and pain points. It’s an all-in-one app that was designed by Stanford Ph.D Elena Krasnoperova, mother of two, founder of FamTerra and the creator of two other parenting apps SimplyCircle and Calroo. We Parent app, named the Apple App Store’s “App of the Day“, provides a shared calendar with custody schedules and other events like doctors appointments and after-school activities, shared lists, messaging, and a shared library of photos, contacts, notes, and documents- its literally a lifesaver.
We caught up with Elena, to talk about the new app, how her Ph.D in psychology and personal parenting experience led to the creation of this powerful tool and its potential impact on co-parenting families.
Mama Glow: How does the app function to help co-parents?
Elena Krasnoperova: We designed WeParent.app based on the insights from more than 50 in-depth interviews with divorced and separated parents.
One of the biggest co-parenting challenges for co-parents is the complexity of negotiating changes to custody schedules. Custody agreements are often complicated (and legally binding), with different schedules for the school year vs. summer break vs. winter break, and for different holidays. On top of that, they need to accommodate life changes like job changes, business travel, illness, and emergencies. Even in the most amicable co-parenting relationships, custody change negotiations require a lot of back-and-forth. And not all co-parenting relationships are amicable. As a result, children get caught between arguing parents.
The challenge of locating important information on short notice like a health insurance card or birth certificate compounds the stress. On WeParent, every bit of information is editable, searchable, and available at your fingertips.
Divorced people need all communication with their co-parent permanently recorded to eliminate any “he said, she said” confusion and to be usable in court if need be, rather than it being spread across multiple apps like texting, email, calendar, etc
MG: In developing this app, what were the key features you saw as necessary to help simplify the co-parenting process?
EK: We created a shared calendar to help divorced parents negotiate changes to custody schedules and to keep track of important events in their kids’ lives. We created a shared, searchable, editable repository of all important information (like contact info for the pediatrician and the babysitter; notes with the kids’ shoe sizes; school report cards and immunization records) to help them easily locate important information. And we store messages and all other communication between the co-parents safely, privately and securely, to avoid miscommunication and confusion.
Our overall goal was to streamline communication and logistics coordination between the co-parents, reducing stress and conflict in their relationship, and allowing them to focus on what really matters – raising healthy and happy kids.
My unique background as a Stanford Ph.D. in Psychology allowed me to design an app that is based on sound research about the psychological effects of divorce on kids. The best way for divorced parents to protect their kids from the negative impact of divorce is to stop fighting. And our app is designed to help them do just that.
Another example of where my Psychology training informs our app is in our subscription pricing. We’re the most affordable paid co-parenting app on the market (other apps charge as much as $100 per person per year). More importantly, we’re the only app that bases its pricing on the whole family (everybody else charges per person). It’s hard enough to convince your ex to try an app that you’ve selected. We certainly don’t want the co-parents to fight about having to pay for it! Not only does our low $2.99/month fee cover the two co-parents, but it also encourages everybody else to get involved – grandparents, siblings, new spouses. It takes a proverbial village to raise a child, and we based our pricing approach on that key insight.
MG: What do family law judges like about the app? Are they recommending it? In what states districts have family court officials recommended the usage or accepted material through the app?
EK: We are a relatively new app (we launched on iOS in March, and on Android in June), so we are just now beginning our outreach to family law judges and other family court professionals. The initial conversations have been very promising, and they are starting to recommend our app to their clients.
We’re also beginning to partner with non-profits that work to reduce parental conflict and family violence through parenting classes, and will be announcing several exciting partnerships in the near future.
So far, all of our customers came to us organically, without any marketing spend on our part. They heard about us through word of mouth or found us by searching in the app stores for terms like “co-parenting”, “divorce”, or “custody”. We have grown our customer base by more than 20% week-over-week since our March 1st launch, and Apple featured us as “App of the Day“. We’ve also been featured on Romper, Forbes, NBC, and ABC Radio, and selected for Apple Entrepreneur Camp, Apple’s new program for female founders of mobile app companies. There’s clearly a need for a better co-parenting solution, and we’re excited to be serving that need.
MG: Is there a personal story that guided you to develop this solution for parents?
EK: Most definitely! I’m a Mom of two kids (now 11 and 13 years-old), and I’m also a primary caregiver for two elderly parents. I know from personal experience how challenging it is to be a good Mom and to balance parenting with work and other family obligations. And that’s despite me being married to a wonderfully supportive husband. Being a parent is infinitely harder if you’re divorced or separated. I’ve seen many friends go through a divorce, and I have a lot of empathy for their unique challenges.
Ever since I became a Mom, I’ve felt that tech companies weren’t supporting me in my role as a parent. The apps I had on my phone were designed for me as a consumer or as a professional. What about the most important job that I do – being a Mom? Why is nobody building apps to help me do that?
Instead of complaining about a lack of good parenting apps, I decided to do something about it. So I left a well-paid executive job and became a “family tech” entrepreneur. My mission is to create technology solutions that improve the lives of millions of parents. Prior to WeParent, I created two other parenting apps, SimplyCircle and Calroo. And customers of those apps kept asking me for a solution to their unique needs as co-parents. That’s what lead me to build a co-parenting solution, even though I’m not divorced myself. I hope that my solution will help millions of parents be better and happier parents.
WeParent.app – Co-parenting made simpler – App Store “App of the Day” The app is available on both iOS and Android, and comes with a free 14-day trial. After that, it’s just $2.99 per month – less than a cup of coffee – for unlimited adults in both households.