Free app controls life after a divorce

After a divorce, the communication between the former partners about their children often runs roughly. With a free app, researchers from UAntwerp want to improve communication. In Belgium about one marriage in three runs on the cliffs. Often children are involved and separate parents have to reorganize their parenting

After a divorce, the communication between the former partners about their children often runs roughly. With a free app, researchers from UAntwerp want to improve communication.
In Belgium about one marriage in three runs on the cliffs. Often children are involved and separate parents have to reorganize their parenting.
However, that does not always go smoothly. For example, previous research by the University of Antwerp shows that one in four divorced parents no longer speaks to each other about the children. 28.5% do so less than once a month. 43% of divorced parents never take a big decision about the children together and 40.5% do this less than once a month.

To help children and parents communicate with each other after a divorce, researchers from the University of Antwerp (Center for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, CELLO) developed the KiT (Keep in Touch) application. The free app, the first for divorced parents and their children, wants to help all parties involved to practically arrange life in two different houses.

At a glance
"KiT contains several functions, " says researcher Kim Bastaits (UAntwerpen). "For example, there is the calendar in which the ex-partners and the children can add appointments, for themselves or for another family member. At a glance, everyone's planning becomes clear: from doctor's appointments to holiday arrangements to sports competitions. The bulletin board makes it easy to share messages and photos with each other, so that everyone keeps abreast of what is happening in the lives of the others. "

A checklist and a chat function complete the app. Closing is the information hatch, where you will find everything about separating and what is involved. Children also find information to their liking. KiT is very easy to use: you can download the app (iPhone or Android) and via an icon you can then register the other family members with the help of their email address.

Research
The Kit project is part of the research project of Kim Bastaits at the University of Antwerp, led by Prof. Dimitri Mortelmans. "With this research we want to examine how the communication between divorced parents and their children can be improved", explains Mortelmans.

"Whoever uses the app will receive a questionnaire twice. All data is processed anonymously and the texts that are entered in the chat function, for example, will never be visible to the researchers. After the second questionnaire, the app can simply be used further. No one will ever know that you participated in this scientific study. "