High Conflict Divorce: Best Parenting Plan Shared Calendars?

Updated on June 01, 2019
M.O. asks from Weston, CT
12 answers

Hi Moms, I have three children ages 8, 10, and 12. We are going through a divorce and my husband is creating conflict in many areas. I need advice on the best shared calendar to use. I would like to have one that will provide accountability in terms of saving information in case it has to be used as proof. He wants to use his past Microsoft Outlook calendar as he has used it for work in the past but I don't think the format is the easiest or most efficient for family information. He is being insistent and I need help! I have heard of Family Wizard and Cozy but please if anyone has any experience using any, post if possible!

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answers from Boston on

I use Outlook for my work calendar and I've found that it deletes meeting more than a year old. This isn't an issue for me so I haven't spent more than a few minutes looking into it, but I thought I would mention it since you want to keep good records. My coworker does like to keep a copy of all of her appointments so she saves a PDF of each week.

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answers from Springfield on

I feel so old now, but I use a paper calendar and my husband doesn't use a calendar at all. (He just let's me remind him, and that seems to work for us.) I've tried using an electronic calendar, and it just drives me bonkers. It feels like too much work.

Why not just send him emails whenever things come up. He can put it in his calendar, or not, but that's his call. You still have the email, so if you need to be able to prove that you informed him you've got the proof.

It seems like it would be easier for both of you to just do your own thing rather than using a shared calendar.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I used Cozi for years but it's kind of a pain. My ex and I have used Google calendar for years and years and it works for us. The way we have set it up is that we each have a Google account and each add each other's calendar to ours, so I can see what he enters into his calendar and he can see what I enter into mine. We'll each block off time that we're unavailable (we don't really have a set schedule, the kids are with me by default all the time). We are each responsible for linking in things like team calendars because if you link in other calendars, he won't see them through your calendar and vice-versa. I know that he doesn't link the school calendars on his account, so I do still do him the courtesy of copying events that he should know about (concerts, etc.) from the school calendars directly to mine, which makes them visible. I like that Google works on phones (it's the default for most Android phones), my tablet, computers, etc. without having to download an app, set up yet another log in, etc.

I've heard really great things about OurFamilyWizard but we haven't had to use that. My kids are now old enough (13 and 15) that they have their own phones and it's appropriate to put them more in charge of thinking through their own schedules and transportation so I hardly have to talk to my ex at all and it's awesome! You'll get there too in a few years but in the meantime, maybe look into OFW if you need something more robust than just a shared calendar - in addition to a calendar, you can use it for messaging/email, expense tracking, etc. If you need to give a significant other, grandparent, baby-sitter, your kids or anyone else access to the calendar, you can give access by role without compromising privacy of communication with your ex.

You didn't ask for this but if you haven't read "The Truth About Children and Divorce" then I would recommend it. It profiles several types of divorce and how to best set boundaries and navigate things during and after divorce depending on how high or low conflict things are. They talk a lot about high-conflict divorce so there might be some info there that helps you deal with him in a way that shields your kids without you taking an emotional beating.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Well, my husband and I use outlook and it works great for us. I "invite" him as an attendee to all the kid events when I put them on the calendar and he does the same. When the other person clicks "accept" to put it on their calendar, Outlooks saves that info (good for your accountability) so you can see whether or not he has accepted each event onto his calendar. As for saving, each month on the first you could print the monthly calendar as a PDF and save it. I do that - not for divorce accountability, but because then I can put it on my fridge so that everyone (even the kids) knows the schedule.

I think that there are ways to share entire outlook calendars, but we don't do it that way. I find it easiest and most efficient to use the invite option on each individual event when I put it on the calendar. With the text box under the event I can cut and paste in links to events, specific addresses of baseball fields, etc. It works well with my iphone and now that my oldest has his own android device, I can send my outlook events to his google calendar by inviting him as an attendee as well, and it works between systems just fine.

Do you have specific reasons why you think it's not efficient for you? I might be able to help.

ETA: Someone mentioned about max of 1 year. This might be version or setting dependent, but I just did a quick look-back, and I can see everything on my calendar from 2015 (when I purchased my current computer) thru now. I have the desktop version of Outlook 2013.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I use Google calendar and like it. If he wants to use Outlook just use that. Why does everything need to be a fight? Don't you have enough to worry about right now? This seems like a battle not worth having. Save your energy for bigger issues.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Good morning. I was in a high conflict custody case with my ex-husband for about 5 years. It was finally resolved last year. We have been using Our Family Wizard during this time and continue to use it now. It has worked for us, and OFW customer service is awesome, if you have any issues, which is rare. I use everything it has to offer - messaging, calendar, all important info, expenses, journal entries - everything. Also, I use the OFW app on my phone when I am not near a desktop computer. No issues there either. Please feel free to message me if you have any questions.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My ex and I have used Google calendar for the past 5 years successfully. We made a special Google account just for it. But we both use Google calendar and then just added to see that account on ours. It works well. You can set up a number of reminders per event. Now each side can delete them as they choose, so perhaps you should do as others said and print it out regularly, but it works well. I just set a different color for our daughter's events than mine so I can quickly identify them on the calendar. I end up doing 95% of the posting, but at least it's there and he can look at it. Stopped a fight once bc he could see that I had put a reminder an hour out that he just missed.

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answers from Norfolk on

I was going to say to use the calendar on your phone but events automatically disappear once date is past (unless there's a setting that you can set so they don't auto delete).
We used Yahoo calendar for a long time - 4 or 5 years.
I tried Cozy for a short time but didn't like it - it's free but there are ads - but you might like it.
Outlook wasn't bad but I really don't know how it would work across devices with getting everything synch'd up.

It's handy to have something that's phone based - you always have it with you and can set appointments on the fly at any time.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Well, having been divorced myself I realized that 'sharing' anything hadn't worked in our marriage so it doesn't seem like it will work in divorce. Because even if you have it, follow it diligently, it doesn't matter what the app is- if he is being as much as a problem as it sounds like -HE MAY NOT even look at it. Or he may accidentally erase something or add something the moment it is supposed to happen... (Sorry he doesn't sound very nice). So, maybe your own personal calendar that suits you would work, notes, texts, or emails and let him take care of his end. You can use those items as proof if you need to. And as you know, you keep copies of everything. Sending blessings and good luck. This has got to be a tough time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

I like google calendar. I have my personal one. One for my daughter's dance class. My husband's. A work one. I can show them all at the same time or not. It's very easy to use. I'm sure Microsoft Outlook is easy also, but I've never used it.

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answers from Portland on

I'm only familiar with Outlook - not for home, but work but found it super easy. Friends use Google.

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answers from Dallas on

Well it is sad that there is conflict this early on. I feel for your children.

I personally use Outlook and love it. My daughter who is in the IT industry uses Outlook and most all businesses she deals with are Outlook based.

I am a little on the OCD side and I have a spiral very nice planner that I keep at my desk with all my details. I use color coded pens for my entries so it is super easy to follow.

The calendar on my I{hone works well too but it does not have the sharing feature.

Good luck

1 mom found this helpful
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