Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal, P.C. posted in Divorce on Wednesday, November 18, 2015.
“Our Family Wizard,” and numerous other divorce tools are trademarked and copyrighted online tools available for a price on the internet and designed to make co-parenting as seamless as possible. Many family court judges, particularly in St. Louis County, Missouri, are now requiring that parties use these tools to make custody arrangements more manageable. Parents can use the system to maintain and coordinate schedules, keep track of expenses, communicate, email one another and share important family information.
The information on the “Our Family Wizard” website, as an example, acts as a source of documentation by either parent once entered. This program allows a parent to provide a password to an attorney or a guardian ad litem so that they can also review communication between the parties.
Here is a summary of the four main sections of that website and some of its many features.
Calendar: You can input your parenting schedule and use their calendar to keep accurate records of the dates of each parent’s custody time. Trading parenting times is facilitated by the “Our Family Wizard” calendar trade function. You tell the ”Wizard” what dates you want, it works out a trade agreement, and sends it to the other parent for their approval. All trade requests are documented so you can trace back who agreed to what. This program also allows the parents to add activities and the location of those activities on the calendar. Each child’s activities can be color coded. If you do not already have a custody and visitation schedule, the ”Wizard” has do-it-yourself tools to create a fair agreement as well, though such agreements should always be reviewed by your attorney before finalizing the agreement.
Expense Log: “Our Family Wizard” allows you to track the splitting of expenses with their expense log. You input the expense and indicate which parent is responsible for what portion. This tool comes in handy with summer camps and afterschool activities. The “Wizard” even has a phone app, so you can input the expense right away. You can request payments and once you have received payment, you can mark an expense as paid. “Our Family Wizard” also recently introduced the OFW wpay system which allows parents to make documented, electronic payments on the Expense Log.
Info Bank: Each parent has the ability to share information by uploading the children’s health records, immunization histories, school information, etc., in a record-keeping device called “the information bank.” It can then be accessed by both parents. This saves you the time and hassle of requesting and locating information, especially if it is needed in an emergency. Each entry is time stamped and each page indicates when the information was last seen by each parent.
Message Board: The” Wizard” includes a messaging system that allows you to communicate with the other parent in one designated place. With communication coming in so many forms (cell phones, texts, emails, etc.), it can be beneficial to have one official place where you communicate with the co-parent regarding the children. These messages can also act as records if the case ever goes back to court.
Another feature about the software is when you purchase a parent subscription, each child is given access to a child account free of charge where they can view their schedule and feel included in the process.
When communication is an issue with your ex-spouse, using available software such as “Our Family Wizard” can add some structure to the process. We do not endorse or make any warranty of any kind* concerning this or any other product, but merely have used it as a reference here to demonstrate the possibilities of online parenting tools. You should explore the many available options yourself and make your own choices as to the appropriateness of their use.
For questions about this or other issues communicating with your ex-spouse, contact one of the family law attorneys at Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal, P.C.
PAULE, CAMAZINE AND BLUMENTHAL, P.C. HAS RECEIVED NO BENEFIT OF ANY KIND FROM THE PRODUCTS REFERENCED IN THIS BLOG, AND DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OF ANY PRODUCT MENTIONED IN THIS BLOG. THIS BLOG IS WRITTEN FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.
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