2houses is a neutral web platform and app designed to help co-parents operate and to facilitate communication and organisation for the benefit of the family.
Developed in 2011 by a divorced father who was looking for a tool to help him and his ex-partner to communicate and organise care for their son, 2houses offers a range of tools to improve every day life for separated families.
The website and app can help you organise your schedule, keep track of activities, manage your expenses, and easily exchange school, after-school, and medical information. Some of the more useful features are highlighted below.
The main feature of 2Houses is the shared calendar which allows you to input your care arrangements, any appointments or events, and manage any changes to the arrangements.
The calendar is colour coded making it easy to interpret and it is synchronised, so each parent sees the same calendar. You can also synchronise the calendar with other platforms such as Outlook and Google Calendar.
Through the calendar you can make a request to change the care arrangements, for when you want to book in your holiday contact or if you become unavailable due to work commitment.
You can request a change by selecting the relevant days and providing a reason for the change. The other parent will then be notified of your request and can either choose to accept or deny the request. If accepted the shared calendar will be updated to reflect the change in the care arrangements.
You could also send a message at the same time through the messaging platform to notify the other parent of your request.
Another aspect of the calendar which is particularly useful is the ability to input events. This could be the children’s medical appointments, school meetings or events, sport games, birthday parties or other social occasions. This allows each parent to be kept up to date about what their child is doing and is a conflict way to communicate about routine matters.
The journal is akin to a private social media platform where you can easily share information, news, photos, videos and documents.
This can be used to keep a record of important matters or achievements relating to the children such as conversations had with teachers and it can be used to easily share certificates, school reports, or medical reports.
2Houses includes an inbuilt photo album section where you can collate albums of your children that the other parent can access. This is particularly useful for special occasions which one parent has been unable to attend such as sports games, birthday parties, and separate family holidays.
Information bank and contacts
The information bank and contact section are useful tools to organise important information relating to the children. This can include any medical information, contact details for the children’s friends, school, or sports coaches, or every day matters such as the children’s clothing size.
The document storage allows parents to organise their shared documents and important documents relating to the children. This could include any parenting agreements or Court Orders, or copies of documents such as the children’s passports or birth certificates.
When you first download the 2Houses app you are entitled to a 14-day trial, after which a subscription is $119.99 a year or $499.99 for life.
Only one parent needs to purchase the subscription, so a year subscription shared equally is only $59.99 each.
The benefits of 2Houses
2Houses provides a secure, accessible, and easy to use interface which when used by both parents can significantly improve communication and organisation in high conflict situations.
The features of the platform are child focused which encourages direct communication about the children separate from any other issues the parents may be dealing with.
The phone notifications and email alerts allow both parents to stay informed of any activity on the shared 2Houses account and prevents communication delays and misinterpretation.
2Houses can be used for many different reasons but it is a particularly useful tool for separated couples who have difficulty communicating with one another about their children’s contact, expenses and activities and who would prefer to communicate via a shared calendar.
As well as sharing between the parents of separated families, the children can also be given access to the platform. This would enable the children to see when they are staying with Dad and when they are staying with Mum, and what activities they have coming up. Through the platform children can share photos and journals which can help the child feel closer to the absent parent.
To work well both parents need to be using 2Houses and checking the notifications and email alerts. If one parent ignores these then situations could arise where events or change requests are missed or ignored which could lead to conflict later.
If you wish to investigate further and consider incorporating 2Houses into your daily life, go to https://www.2houses.com/en/