While it is certainly the goal for parents to communicate amicably during or following a divorce, that is often not the case. Tools like Our Family Wizard (“OFW”) help accomplish productive communication, even when parties are unable to have effective communication directly. OFW is a user friendly program, available through a website (listed below), where parents pay $99.00 for a year subscription to the program, and then are able to set up their private communication webspace.
OFW has an “information bank” where parents can keep current on their child’s medical records and school records. The “message board” is a place where parents can type messages directly to each other to inform the other parent about activities the children may have, or placement schedules. Reminders may also be set on this program so that parents are notified of important events that are scheduled through OFW. Parents may also create an expense log on OFW, which can be used for example, to avoid the hassle of calling the other parent every time a bill is incurred that is court ordered to be split.
If you have an attorney, or there is a Guardian ad Litem appointed to your case, either of them may also view this communication. This is great for attorneys and Guardian ad Litem’s because it eliminates the “he said/she said” battle that often occurs in divorce cases, and holds each parent responsible for what they enter into the program. Further, the court has access to this information, so both parents are likely to keep all communication appropriate and productive.
More and more, courts are ordering parents to activate OFW accounts in an effort to avoid conflict and enforce healthy communication between parties. Courts typically use OFW as a “third party mediator” for parents who have trouble communicating with one another directly. However, even in less contentious cases, this program is an effective tool in keeping the parents organized and allows parents to resolve their issues on their own. It helps expose to the court parents who are not communicating well, and it highlights parents who are communicating effectively.
Although there are several other ways in which OFW is helpful, the most important, as a family attorney and Guardian ad Litem, is that OFW helps shield children from the divorce. The children have less exposure to argumentative telephone communications and seeing mean e-mails from one parent to another when all communication is done in one place that is password protected and for the parents, attorneys and courts eyes only.
Please check out http://www.ourfamilywizard.com/ofw to get more information about OFW and to find out what the program can do for you and your family as you go through your divorce.