Help

If you have any questions about Alimentor, or want to learn optimum ways to archive certain results, please email us at: feedback@alimentor.org

Let us know immediately when you experience difficulties of any kind or have an idea for improvement.

We strongly rely on your feedback, so please contact us without delay and we will be happy to assist you.

Usage Tips

  • To minimize data entry effort you can decide if you prefer to track your time with kids or the time they spend with the other parent. There is no need to simultaneously track both parents time unless you want to be very precise and, for example, exclude from your calculations the time when your kids are at school. You can also exchange data with the other parent using iCloud Sync sharing features.
  • To input all of the historical data you have, consider defining several recurring events that start in the past. Once you recreate your schedule, use the calendar or reminders list to switch the status of each event from „Planned” to „Actual” and at the same time adjust the dates to reflect any deviations.
  • If you have more than one child with the same visitation schedule, please note that you can assign multiple children to the same (recurring) event. This will keep things simple and flexible at the same time.
  • By default Alimentor generates reports that cover unlimited time period and include all persons that you have entered. Use the „Options” button located in the Report View to open the Report Settings View and set your preferences. For everyday use it is recommend to select a shorter reporting period, typically monthly or four weeks long.
  • If you want to track calls, you can use memos to do so. One way to add memos is to use the Persons View: set the horizontal picker located in the „SELECTION” section to „Memos”, then tap any calendar day or use the „+” button located in the upper right corner.

Event Statuses

Depending on their status, events are shown in the two different views:

  • Planned events are shown in the Reminders View. Users can choose the time when they wish to receive a notification message with a reminder.
  • Actual and Canceled events are shown in the Diary View.

To change the status of a planned event to „Actual", users can use the Reminders View, or select it for editing using the calendar displayed in the Persons View.

In case of "no show" users should set the status of an event as „Canceled” to indicate that the visitation was planned but did not occur. It will be then correctly reported as missed visitation (that should be made up later).

Calendars

  • Calendar displayed in the Persons View uses colors assigned to children/beneficiaries if you choose to display data for a parent. Likewise, when you choose to display data for a child, then colors shown in the calendar will be read from the parent’s profiles.
  • Report calendars use colors assigned to parents/guardians.
  • Use swipe and tap gestures to quickly navigate between months and select an event or date.
  • When the ”Device Calendar” switch is on, Alimentor calendar displays up-to-date content of the device calendar, showing daily events, holidays and visitations together. Toggling that switch does not affect any data stored in Alimentor database.
  • Parenting time records based on the device calendar events - created in Alimentor using the „Import to Alimentor” button - are not affected by any later changes made to the original events. Turning the „Device Calendar” switch off has no effect on such records.

Editing Parenting Time Dates

When modifying event dates, please note that event's start date must never be greater than its end date.

To move the visitation time forward to an earlier date:

  • First edit its start date - set it to an earlier date/time.
  • Then adjust the end date.

Overlapping Records

Parenting time records assigned to different parents (or guardians) can freely overlap with each other (exchange time, babysitting). The only instance when users get a message about overlapping records is when two records assigned to the same parent and kids overlap.

During editing, when events start to overlap, the view displays a message containing the title and dates of the conflicting record. Use this information to decide how to adjust both records.

Visitation Schedules

Users can model complex visitation schedules using multiple recurring events.

For example, to define a 3-2-2 parenting plan, one needs to create 3 events, each repeating biweekly:

  1. Friday-Monday (3 n),
  2. Wednesday-Friday (2 n),
  3. Monday-Wednesday (2 n).
3-2-2 Visitation Schedule

All planned events are displayed in the Reminders View.

How to make changes:

  • To enter individual deviations from your basic schedule (e.g. school holidays or vacations), use the calendar or navigate to the Reminders View and edit or delete chosen entries.
  • When you attempt to change planned dates for a recurring event occurrence, a confirmation prompt is shown. Choose “Edit” to proceed with your changes. In addition to changing planned dates, users can also edit the title and add notes e.g. containing email confirmation of the agreed schedule modification.
  • Manually edited planned events are displayed in the Reminders View with dark gray color.
  • When you need to make permanent changes to your parenting time visitation schedule, you can delimit existing recurring events and create new ones.
  • To edit a recurrence rule, e.g. change recurrence end date or delete the rule all together, open any occurrence of the recurring event and tap the (i) button located in the “Repeat” row. Choose “Edit Recurring Event” when prompted to start editing the source event. Tap the “Repeat” row and make required changes.
  • Turning off a recurrence rule by setting its frequency to „Do not repeat” does not delete already edited occurrences to prevent accidental data loss.
  • Events containing a recurrence rule are marked with this symbol: Recurrence Rule.

Actual Visitation Time vs. Schedule

  • Each parenting time record can store information about both planned dates and actual dates. This allows Alimentor to detect and report deviations from your agreed schedule.
  • To store both time pairs (planned and actual), the record status needs to be set to „Actual” and the „Planned” switch must be turned on (default setting for recurring events).

    Scheduled Actual Record
  • For example, if a particular visitation was supposed to take place from March 23rd to 28th (planned), but is was actually shorter: 25th - 27th, then it should be logged as follows:

    Visitation Record

Parenting Timeshare

  • The visitation timeshare (the percentage of time each parent has the child) is calculated as: Custody time duration / Reporting period duration * 100%. The Persons View uses a monthly timeframe.
  • To check the timeshare for any period, users can use the Report View. To set a custom reporting period, please navigate to the Report View and tap the "Options" button located in the upper left corner.
  • The Relative Percentage column, output in the calendar section of the report, compares duration of each parent’s custody time. It always adds up to 100%.

Expenses

  • When tracking expenses, use the first field to indicate the payer and the second field (where you can select multiple persons) to enter beneficiaries (payees). If you track your own expenses, put your name in both fields.
  • If an expense is assigned to more than one person, then on the report its amount is split equally between persons. Costs such as family plan subscriptions are ideal for splitting this way.
  • You have three options for tracking reimbursements:
    • Track payments between parents: enter one parent as payer and the other one as payee.
    • Create two expense records - one for each parent (as payer).
    • Ask the other parent to use Alimentor and share his or her expense records with you.
  • You can export all Alimentor data records to a spreadsheet file in order to perform some advanced calculations or to create charts. To generate a file in .xlsx format, please navigate to the Settings View and select „Export to Microsoft Excel”.

Reporting

Since version 1.8.5 Alimentor can simultaneously track planned and actual values.

As a consequence, reports now contain additional data:

  • ✓ - Checkmarks indicate that planned and actual values match.
  • Black color - represents actual values.
  • Gray color - represents planned values.
  • Light gray color - used for dates outside the reporting period.
  • Values in parentheses (for totals) or in red - the difference between actual and planned values (actual minus planned)
  • In period (for expenses) - „No” means that the expected or actual payment date is outside the reporting period.

To speed up report generation use shorter reporting periods. To change reporting period tap the „Options” button located in the Report View to open the Report Settings View, then set your preferences.

If you are preparing Alimentor report(s) for your lawyer or court, you can use almost any popular PDF reader on your PC or Mac to add extra annotations to your documents. If your are using a Mac, your can use Preview. To learn more, please read: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH20218.

iCloud Sync

Syncing data across your devices

Alimentor uses Apple's CloudKit, part of iCloud, to sync and backup your data. With iCloud Sync, your data is seamlessly pushed across all of your devices. iCloud is a service running in the background on your device and updates may take a few seconds or several minutes to appear on other devices.

To turn on iCloud Sync navigate to the Settings View, select "iCloud Sync" and tap "Turn On iCloud Sync".

If you are syncing large amount of data for the first time, please let the initial upload to come to an end, then allow a few minutes for Apple servers to index freshly uploaded data before turning on iCloud Sync on the secondary device(s).

If you have used iCloud Sync before and are turning it back on, please be aware that Alimentor data records stored on your device will be merged with the records stored in iCloud.

Syncing data with other Alimentor users

Since version 1.8.7 users can sync data (read-only) with other Alimentor users.

How it works:

  • You can invite one or more users to access your data. For each user a separate invite must be created. Each user can be granted a different set of access rights. You choose what persons are made visible to the other user and what types of events can that user see.
  • Data is always shared in a read-only mode, your records cannot be changed or deleted by someone else.
  • You can always change or revoke already granted access rights. Shared data will be re-synced or removed from the other user devices.
  • Users can mutually share data by creating and exchanging invitations with access rights.
  • If somebody shares with you a person (child or parent) with the same nickname as the one that you have already used, then Alimentor will link both person's profiles and display merged data.
  • If you do not want to sync data shared by another user, you can disable obtained access rights. Previously downloaded data records will be removed from all your devices.

To let another Alimentor user access your data:

  1. Open Alimentor and navigate to the Sharing View (Settings > iCloud Sync > Sharing), then tap Add User.
  2. Select a recipient from your address book.
  3. Edit the authentication code (optional).
  4. Select parents and children to be shared.
    • You need to select at least one parent (or guardian) and one child (or beneficiary).
    • Data is always shared in a read-only mode, your records cannot be changed or deleted by someone else.
    • You can choose what types of events you want to share for each parent (guardian).
  5. Tap Create Invitation to upload your settings to iCloud.
  6. Tap Send Invitation to obtain and send an authentication link to the other user.
  7. Pass authentication code to the other user.

To accept an invitation that you have received from another user:

  1. Tap the authentication link that you have received and choose to open it in Alimentor.
  2. Alimentor will display the Access Rights View and communicate with iCloud to obtain your access rights.
  3. Enter the authentication code and tap Authenticate to initialize synchronization.
  4. Close the Access Rights View and wait for the shared data to be completely downloaded.

Troubleshooting

If you are getting "Couldn't get a signing certificate" error, please try performing the following actions:

  • Check your internet connection.
  • Restart your device.
  • Try to turn iCloud Sync on again after a while.

Backup and Restore

There are two alternative ways to backup your data: use iCloud Sync or periodically export Alimentor data to a file.

iCloud Sync

When enabled, Alimentor maintains a copy of your data in iCloud and all changes are automatically backed up. This is the recommended way to backup your records.

To enable iCloud Sync: open Alimentor, go to the Settings View, select "iCloud Sync" and tap "Turn On iCloud Sync".

To restore Alimentor data on your new device (or after reinstall):

  1. Install/reinstall Alimentor.
  2. If your database contains long term recurring events, then to avoid issues (crashes) when Alimentor renders your report for unlimited reporting period, edit your reporting settings before enabling iCloud Sync. Navigate to the Report View, tap „Options” and change reporting period setting to: „Current Month”. Do not create any data yet.
  3. Navigate to the Settings View, select „iCloud Sync”, tap „Turn On iCloud Sync” to start downloading your data. For a database containing 1000 records, the initial download can take up to 10 minutes (over WiFi).
It is highly recommended to keep Alimentor as active app and prevent your device from going to sleep during the initial sync. When an app is not visible/active it can be suspended/terminated by iOS after approximately 2 minutes - not enough time to fully download a large database.

Backup to a file

This feature is not available when iCloud Sync is enabled.

To export your data:

  1. Open Alimentor, go to the Settings View, select Device Data and tap "Export Data”.
  2. Save the generated file (you can email it to yourself).

To restore your data:

  1. Open an email or application containing the exported database file.
  2. Tap or long press the icon representing Alimentor file.
  3. Choose Open in Alimentor.

Important Notice

Restored or downloaded data is always merged with records already existing on a device.

Last Resort Option

If you have lost your device or it has been damaged or reset and you did not use any of the above listed methods to protect your data, then you can refer to this Apple support article about restoring you iPhone from a backup: https://support.apple.com/HT204184

Preparing for Court

The following tips can help you when preparing for court:

  • You can use almost any popular PDF reader on your PC or Mac to add extra annotations to the final version of your report. If your are using a Mac, your can use Preview (https://support.apple.com/kb/PH20218).
  • The search functionality located in the Diary View will help you quickly look up records containing specific notes and titles.
  • You can export all Alimentor data records to a spreadsheet file in order to perform some advanced calculations or to create charts. To generate a file in .xlsx format, please navigate to the Settings View and select „Export to Microsoft Excel”.
  • If you had been regularly sending Alimentor reports to the other parent (e.g. using email), consider using that fact to prove that the other parent was aware of the actual time, expenses, etc.

Known Issues

Report Generation

If you use Alimentor to store records that cover a long time span (several years), please note that by default Alimentor generates reports for unlimited time period and include all persons that you have entered. In extreme cases the app can crash while attempting to generate a report that would count hundreds of pages. To set a custom reporting period, please navigate to the Report View and tap the "Options" button located in the upper left corner. For everyday use it is recommend to select a short reporting period, typically monthly or four weeks long.