I cannot tell you how much time I spent with my ex in hostile and abusive text and email exchanges. When you and your ex share kids, you have no choice but to communicate. An app like Talking Parents or Our Family Wizard can go a long way. It helps to keep things on the right track. I chose to use Talking Parents. Keep reading to learn more in this Talking Parents review.
So What Is Talking Parents and How Does It Work?
At its heart, Talking Parents is a way for two people to communicate via a third party. All of this communication gets recorded by the third party, and CANNOT BE ALTERED by either participant.
This is the fundamental benefit and feature of Talking Parents. When you communicate via text, email, phone, etc.. it gets recorded. There is little chance that the other party could claim they did not say what you allege they said. With Talking Parents, your conversations are being etched in (virtual) stone.
The outstanding features of Talking Parents are that:
- It’s free
- It is secure and straightforward to use
- It contains a calendar you can share to keep track of kid events
- You can get a copy of all of the parts of Talking Parents. You can use this for any legal or logistical needs you may have
If you have been through a split with an ex, you know the hostility that can exist. This is often seen as part of your conversations. Things change when both parties know that everything they say is being recorded. With no ability to change anything, suffice it to say, it can keep things civil and positive.
In the past, I posted about dealing with a hostile ex. One of the things I did not mention in that article was the specifics of HOW we communicated.
I was at my wit’s end communicating with my ex during my divorce. My attorney suggested both the Talking Parents app and Our Family Wizard. At that point, I frankly would have tried anything.
The Talking Parents folks like to say that their service works:
- On Any Device
- With Unalterable Records
The best part of Talking Parents? The basic plan is FREE.
I never paid a dime for Talking Parents. Moreover, it served as a terrific tool for communicating with my ex. That is not to say that all hostility and accusation got eliminated from our conversations.
What Talking Parents did was to lessen these types of conversations to a great degree. Why? This would all be part of a running record that COULD get taken to court at any point.
Have a gripe about your child custody arrangement? Have a gripe about an ex that is hostile and makes threats?
This is where tools like Talking Parents or Our Family Wizard are great. Here is a tool you could take to a judge and say, “here you go.” “This is not my opinion; this is what ACTUALLY occurred.”
This Talking Parents review will show you it is easy to use, secure, and confidential. If you want more features, the company offers paid options, including recorded audio and visual calls. If you communicate with your ex in ways beyond text and email, this seems like a great add-on. I cover these options in more detail below.
So how do you get started with Talking Parents?
I entered my info and my ex’s full legal name in Talking Parents. She then created her account and entered my full legal name, and our accounts got matched. We could then start communication on their platform.
No communication info like phone numbers or email addresses gets shared with the other party during this process.
From that point on, no other changes can get made. It is just the two of you communicating. A third party cannot get added. You cannot substitute one of you with someone else.
If you do want to, for example, change the email address where you get notifications, you can. Talking Parents will first need to verify your identity, and then they will do that for you.
Stop using the service if you don’t want to continue. Even if you stop, the history of everything you have done remains. That is the fundamental point of Talking Parents:
What you say and do on Talking Parents cannot get altered, erased, modified, or deleted. That includes your account with Talking Parents.
The Talking Parents service would not be of many benefits if one party could quit. What is the point if they deleted their account and everything they said and did was gone?
How communication works
The most significant part of a Talking Parents review will be how you communicate. Talking Parents will be a piece of cake if you have ever sent a text or email message. Either party can start a new thread, and then both parties can add to the thread.
You can add seven entries to one thread without a response from your ex. It is not limited to you sending something and then you have to wait for a response.
You can add attachments like pictures or .pdf files to messages if you want to add them. This can be useful when discussing something you received from your child’s school or doctor.
One of the newest features they offer is their Accountable Calling. This lets you record calls with your ex without disclosing your phone number to them. This helps to indeed “cover all the bases” since this enables you to ensure that ALL communication between you and your ex gets recorded and stored.
Have I Already Mentioned This Is All Free???
Talking Parents has a service where they charge you money every month. They also have one-off charges for requesting a .pdf or written version of your history.
Since I never availed myself of this, I won’t go into that. For the monthly charge, you can use their app; I did not want to pay, so I was happy to log in to the website to communicate.
How Do You Know When The Other Party Has Communicated?
You know when you talk, but any talking parents review will include how you know when the other party responds. Well, quite simply, you can get a text notification, an email, or both. I would then log into the site and see what got said, and then take any appropriate action.
Now I will say there were some limitations to this if it was for everyday things.
If you only sign up for email notifications or do not turn them on, it can make communication frustrating.
Of course, even with the notifications, either party can choose not to log in to the site.
One good thing is that the conversations show if and when a message got viewed by the other party. So at least you know if your message got seen and ignored or just not seen at all.
Any Drawbacks to The Service?
In this Talking Parents review, I would say it is not all that great if you need to communicate immediately. Say you are running late to pick up the kids, and your ex is somewhere waiting with no internet access.
They will not be able to see what you have said on Talking Parents or a service like Our Family Wizard. The notifications that get sent do not contain any message you have sent, just that you have sent one.
If there were a situation where I needed to communicate outside of Talking Parents, I would do it via text. I would then put a screenshot of the text exchange on Talking Parents with no added commentary from me.
In that way, you can communicate more quickly but keep a running record.
Is all this necessary?
It all comes down to how you and your ex deal with each other and communicate. This was a last resort for me, but it turned out to be a great tool….for me. I doubt my ex liked it much. So I put it in such a way as “Why are you hesitant to use this service”? I think it is fair to say any reasonable person will go along with using something like this or Our Family Wizard.
Has using this app changed your co-parent’s behavior?
Sorry to be vague about this, but yes and no. It is my opinion that when my ex stopped to think about the consequences of things she said or did and that they would be a part of this service or a service like Our Family Wizard and thus, COULD NOT BE CHANGED OR DELETED, she tended to be much more civil and reasonable. Of course, we all have moments when our emotion overrides our reason, so there still could be tense exchanges. Overall though, I saw an improvement in our communication using this service.