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Separating better: the story so far
February 12, 2024

Separating better co-parenting support app

Separating better, a groundbreaking mobile app from our team of experts, is developed to support parents navigating the challenges of separation. This child-centric app provides essential guidance on co-parenting and managing disagreements, and has been designed with the wellbeing of the family in mind.  

The background: why build Separating better?

Separating better is the culmination of years of research, addressing the overwhelming and often confusing information surrounding separation for parents. It cuts through the noise, offering a combination of emotional support and practical advice through a self-guided mobile app journey.  

Designed for all parents in the consideration or early stage of separation, this self-managed digital intervention resource provides effective ways to assess emotional readiness, understand finances as a solo parent, improve co-parenting communication, and make practical childcare arrangements.  

The research: the evidence behind the resource

Supported by funding from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Separating better draws on decades of research and expertise from OnePlusOne, the UK’s leading relationship research and innovation charity. This evidence-based approach equips parents with practical tools and emotional skills, empowering them to co-parent effectively.

Separating better is the latest innovative resource in a line of impactful digital interventions for parents and couples, born out of previous successful interventions rooted in Behaviour Modelling Training. The OnePlusOne team conducted co-creation sessions and interviews with separating or separated across the UK to ensure the effectiveness of the resources and support, aligning with common issues found in parents’ separation.  

The development: how was Separating better made?

Crafted by relationship experts at OnePlusOne, the app's development has been made possible through the Reducing Parental Conflict Challenge Fund 2. It offers practical guidance, including budgeting, legal arrangements, and the creation of a personalised parenting plan.  

An image to show several of the screens and features of the Separating better app.

Developed as a secure, discreet, safe, and protected native mobile app, there are considerations for a future desktop app version of Separating better. The app content and solutions have been informed by decades of research and the engaged co-creation sessions with separating or separated parents.  

Behind the scenes of Separating better

The Work it out Behaviour Modelling Training scenario videos within the app were designed to address common, relatable real-life separation situations. These videos aim to teach separating parents how to improve their communication for effective co-parenting. Created with a TV production crew and a team of professional actors, the scripts were developed by experts at OnePlusOne based on evidence, research, and co-creation sessions.  

A collection of behind the scenes images for the filming of the content for the Separating better app.

Key features of the app: how does Separating better work?

Separating better includes a wide range of solutions combining emotional support with practical tools and advice to navigate the separation journey effectively.  

Key features include:

  • An emotional readiness assessment to determine a parent’s readiness for the separation process.
  • A personalised parenting plan with co-parenting agreement options to help shape the practicalities in a parent’s life post-separation.
  • A budget planner to help parents gain control of their finances as a new co-parent and to plan ahead for any shared or split expenses for the children.
  • Work it out scenario videos to help identify any poor communication skills or disagreements between co-parents and demonstrate how to improve upon them.
  • Expert advice and guidance articles on a wide range of separation topics, from communication and living arrangements to finances and practical legal advice.

What’s next? The next steps for Separating better

With the pilot phase underway, Separating better invites parents in Northumberland and the Isle of Wight to test the app and provide constructive feedback. This collaborative approach underscores our commitment to refining the app based on user experiences and real-life situations, ensuring the most relevant, helpful, and innovative support and practical advice are available before the national launch in spring 2024.