App Review: Custody XChange

Recently, I shared a free parenting guide for those in co-parenting situations who need to learn to effectively raise children with an ex. The creators of the guide also have a scheduling app for divorced parents, and they were kind enough to give me a free month on their app so that I could review it!

Note: While I had a month’s subscription to the app free of charge, I was not monetarily compensated to write this review, and I have no financial stake in this company. My review is my true opinion of the app. Additionally, my observations are limited as I am not a parent, so all my use of Custody XChange was hypothetical.

Custody XChange has account options for parents and for lawyers, so if you are in the midst of a dispute, you can get necessary information to your attorney easily by linking to their account. I tried Custody XChange with a parent account.


The first thing you see when you log onto your account is the custody calendar. You can input your agreed-upon arrangement, including a recurring schedule, holidays, summer, and one-time changes. When you select “New schedule,” then “Templates,” you can choose from pre-loaded schedule options for common schedules or create your own.

The app automatically calculates parenting time, which makes it simple to track swapped days, make up time, and other complications that come with co-parenting. With one click, you can export information to a PDF or print a hard copy. As someone who often gets frustrated with technology, I felt like it was user-friendly and intuitive. It took me less than five minutes to put together a parenting schedule, input holidays, and export the data.

Under the menu, there is an option to add activities to the calendar so that the other parent knows what important events may be happening in the child’s life even if it is on the other parent’s time. The activities also allow you to manage your own busy schedule!

Parenting Plans

My favorite feature of the Custody XChange app had to be the parenting plan. Co-parenting is hard – if you got along great, you wouldn’t be divorced! Even if you know on a cognitive level that your child’s needs are most important, you have your own feelings. And even though your feelings are valid, your responsibility to your child is still paramount.

How do you get on the same page as someone who is, at best, not your favorite person? How do you communicate effectively? A parenting plan can help you get and stay on the same page.

Custody XChange’s parenting plan template is incredibly thorough and addresses many important topics that you might not think of in creating your own. It lets you set down clear, specific boundaries and rules around exchanges, finances, discipline, and possible unforeseen complications.

If you are putting a parenting plan together, it might help to have a mediator or co-parenting counselor facilitate. This can keep your focus on the issue at hand and maintain healthy communication. A comprehensive parenting plan includes a lot of detail, so know that it is okay if you do not solve everything in one day. Spread it out into manageable chunks.

Child Information

Within your account, you can set up a profile for each child. This makes it easy to tweak the custody arrangement and schedule if you have multiple children who are on different schedules or have different needs.

You can input pertinent information to the child’s activities, school, medical care, and even just things the child indicates that they like or don’t like. Children change so quickly, so this can be a great way to keep each other up-to-date, like stocking up on groceries your child will eat or finding toys based on their interests.


Since I was not actually using this app to co-parent, I could not really use the messaging center to contact the other parent. However, according to the website, the messaging center uses a monitor that screens messages for hostile language and cues you to consider re-wording your message.

Our proprietary hostility monitor alerts you when certain hostile and negative words are written. Avoiding hostile and negative language focuses the conversation on the needs of the children, rather than on personal grievances.

Custody XChange

This is a great feature. I think if someone is truly furious, they might send a hostile message anyway, but being prompted to reconsider can regulate impulses enough to change your mind about what you want to say.

The message center lets you send each other information relevant to parenting, share photos, and forward any relevant information to your attorney.

Next to the message center is a tab to track expenses. This lets you and your co-parent keep track of finances and pay each other back as needed.

Other Features

When you create your account, the app defaults to listing the parents as “Mom” and “Dad,” with each parent represented with gendered icons reminiscent of public bathroom markers. Mom is pink, and dad is blue. However, under “Account Settings,” you can easily change your icon to the other human or the first letter of your first name. You can choose a color to represent each of you from seven options.

Although this setup would fit the needs of most families, I did notice that there is not an option to add a third parent. For example, some children’s parents share custody with grandparents. You can add the grandparent as a contact person for the child and still schedule visits with them, but a third guardian could not be added to the app.

There is also a journal feature that lets you share private thoughts that are not sent to the other parent. This could be helpful for keeping all parenting information in one place if you are journaling about that, but you could also easily keep that information in a physical journal or private document.

As I noted at the start of this post, lawyers can have Custody XChange accounts, and you can link your account to your attorney. I imagine this feature would be beneficial to custody evaluators who need to access information about the parents’ interactions, and parents might want to be able to easily share this information with their attorneys.

My one hesitation is that the journal has a feature to help parents “present professional-looking evidence” and collect information with the intent of sharing it with their lawyer. On the calendar, you can add “actual time” entries that the other parent cannot see with the intent of forwarding the information to your attorney.

Since healthy co-parenting requires open, honest communication, features designed to collect evidence against the other parent and keep secrets brings up a bit of an “icky” feeling for me. At the same time, I am acutely aware of how contentious and hostile custody battles can be. As such, I am not saying these features are bad, just that they give me pause. This is why I went into clinical psychology and not family law.

The level of detail in the schedule might reinforce “nit picking” over parenting time, with a temptation to shift the focus from the child’s well-being to trying to follow the letter of the custody arrangement even when it is not what is best. At the same time, some families need this level of detail to stay on track or comply with a judge’s orders.

Final Verdict

Co-parenting and juggling schedules is hard. Custody XChange’s app seeks to simplify the process and improve parents’ relationships in the best interest of their children. While the features that focus on evidence collection could foster mistrust, I can see how some parents could require these features.

The message center’s hostility filter could be a great way to foster healthier communication, and the various features could streamline communication, simplifying the complications that come with keeping track of two households.

If you are co-parenting, Custody XChange could be the app for you!

Published by Dr Marschall

Dr. Amy Marschall received her Psy.D. from the University of Hartford in September 2015. She completed her internship at the National Psychology Training Consortium with specializations in assessment and rural mental health. Currently, she specializes in trauma-informed and neurodiversity-affirming care, and she is certified in telemental health. Dr. Marschall runs a private practice, RMH Therapy, where she provides individual and family therapy as well as psychological assessments across the lifespan. Dr. Amy Marschall is an author and professional speaker.

%d bloggers like this: