A tool for squabbling co-parents: Our Family Wizard

OurFamilyWizard is a website and software program for co-parents. It was created in 2001 and is extremely popular, having been used by more than 100,000 families. It is also widespread, having been ordered by judges in all 50 states. Co-parents can also opt to joint the website for their own benefit.

Co-parents who get along well and operate efficiently may not need the program (though it still may be beneficial). It is designed to be used in cases involving litigation, issues of credibility and/or poor communication.

The cost is currently $99 per parent, per year. However, low income parents can seek discounted for free access. Either way, once the parties have signed up, their attorneys can unitize the program for free. Features of the program include:

1. A calendar specially designed for co-parents, with easy parenting schedules, protected journal entries and time-modification requests. It can also be printed or downloaded for court, if need be.

2. A messaging program that can be easily printed our in a litigation-friendly format.

3. Text and email notification of events to parents.

4. A message board that documents when messages are read.

5. A "tone-meter" to improve the tone of parental communications.

6. An information bank to store medical records, emergency contacts, school records etc.

The website can be accessed via computer or mobile apps. Date and time stamps help eliminate gaming the system.

The attorney account permits attorneys to keep track of events without constantly being copied on emails.

OFW cannot transform a bad parent into a good parent. But I have found OFW to be helpful in many cases and rarely harmful (occasionally the tone-meter may school a nasty parent on how to "appear" kind). Many of our clients use it on a regular basis. Probably the best part (for attorneys anyway) are the measures to minimize false and trivial claims.

Speak to your attorney about whether OFW might be helpful in your case. It is a ubiquitous program. So, if your attorney does not know what OFW is, you might want to think about getting a new attorney.