Communicating with Your Ex: If Brad and Angelina Can Do It, Then So Can You

By: Kathryn L. Dudley

The pending divorce of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt has been in the news for the past several years. In this contentious divorce, there have been allegations of alcohol abuse and physical violence, as well as allegations of alienation by one parent against the other. The same issues that many parents are dealing with in their own custody cases and which can make it difficult for parents to communicate and make decisions regarding their children.

Recently, Brad and Angelina were set for a hearing on their custody issues. They resolved those without the necessity of a hearing, but as a part of the resolution it was reported that Brad and Angelina will be using Our Family Wizard as an aid in their communications.

Our Family Wizard and similar programs such as Talking Parents and Our 2 Houses are internet-based parenting tools with which parents can communicate and share information regarding their children in writing via email and a shared calendar. These communications cannot be altered and are maintained by the websites for later reference or to be used as evidence. Some of the programs also allow attorneys and the Guardian ad Litem (also known as a “GAL”) to have access to review and monitor the communications between the parties during and after litigation.

In high conflict custody cases, the use of these tools can help decrease the level of conflict between the parents. Knowing that the GAL or the judge may review the communications often helps to decrease the derogatory, abusive or just plain rude language that some divorcing parents use. In those cases in which domestic violence has been an issue, the use of this tool can be critical so that the abused parent is not subject to verbal abuse.

The use of parenting apps may also lead to sharing information regarding the children and can assist in determining if a parent is not providing necessary information. If a parent insists he or she shared the information about a doctor’s appointment or a basketball game, it is easy to check the communications to see if the information was actually shared.

The use of these parenting apps can reduce conflict and enhance communication, which is in the best interests of the children. For questions about these tools or other family law issues, please contact one of the family law attorneys at Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal, P.C.

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Kathryn L. Dudley
Since The Firm's inception in 1994, St. Louis attorney Kathryn L. Dudley has practiced domestic relations and family law at The Firm. With skill in trial preparation and a common sense approach to complex matters, Ms. Dudley's qualities make her both approachable and professional with her clients. In 2008, she was named a “Rising Star” by the Missouri-Kansas Super Lawyers Publication.