When newly divorced or separated parents begin to think about how they’ll handle their parenting communication, many are tempted by systems that look similar to the methods they already know. Some systems rely on documented messaging that can record when messages have been opened and prevent editing past communication. They can be appealing for their supposed simplicity. However, systems that support documented messaging alone are often unable to handle the specific needs of co-parenting. Nor do they offer the necessary tools to reduce conflict when communicating about children from separate households.
Why is it tempting to settle for documented messaging alone?
It can be hard for a parent to face the fact that communication with their co-parent is not working via more traditional methods and, in turn, do something about it. Email, text messaging, and phone calls are already so integrated into our daily lives that realizing they aren’t enough to combat conflict between you and your co-parent can be a tough adjustment to make.
Some systems cater to this discomfort by solely offering documented messaging. But conflict in co-parenting often originates from miscommunication and confusion, neither of which are adequately combated by relying on unorganizable message chains alone.
What are the alternatives available for co-parenting communication?
Parents need to handle a multitude of responsibilities when raising children from separate households. Scheduling parenting time and appointments, managing shared expenses and reimbursements, and communicating other important details are daily tasks for most co-parents. If those details are communicated solely through messaging, many will be lost in the shuffle.
Instead, comprehensive communication platforms like OurFamilyWizard® give parents multiple tools that meet the varied needs of shared parenting. With our different features, important updates and requests for information can be handled individually, each task given the time it needs to be dealt with fully.
Essential tools for all co-parents
The OurFamlyWizard calendar has multiple tools to help co-parents navigate the scheduling of shared parenting time as well as appointments, extracurricular activities, and other events.
- Create a color-coded parenting schedule that's easily referenced at a glance.
- Submit Trade/Swap requests when one-time changes to the parenting schedule need to be made.
- Records of past events are locked into the system, preventing manipulation by either co-parent.
The OurFamilyWizard Expense Log helps parents keep detailed and thorough records of all child-related expenses.
- Create custom categories to reflect how expenses are split between you and your co-parent.
- Attach receipt files directly to expense entries.
- Co-parents can reimburse each other directly through the website by using the OFWpay™ system.
Parents can keep detailed records of their children's lives using the Info Bank.
- Share contact details for child care workers, teachers, family, and more.
- Keep important insurance information on file and easily accessible.
- Upload documents, photos, and more to share with your co-parent or for your own private records.
In the event that a message must be sent between co-parents, the OurFamilyWizard Message Board will keep complete and concrete records.
- See when your co-parent has first viewed a message sent to them.
- The added Tonemeter tool can review the tone of a message, flagging statements that could cause conflict between co-parents.
- Message histories are inalterable, ensuring you always have access to accurate records of your communication.
Documented messaging alone may not be enough to reduce conflict between co-parents, which is why OurFamilyWizard has developed a robust suite of tools that meet the many different needs of shared parenting. Find out why parents and family law professionals across the United States and Canada have trusted OFW since 2001.