Improving Communication Between Co-Parents
Communication between co-parents can often be difficult, especially if conflict is a constant issue. While phone calls, emails, and text messages provide a way for communication to take place from a distance, they don't offer much of a solution to quell the conflict. In fact, these means of communication can sometimes just make it worse.
A phone call between high conflict co-parents can go from a question about a child's homework to a heated argument about something completely unrelated. Even if you try and isolate yourself from your kids during this conversation, voices carry and they might overhear you after all. Moreover, replacing ugly phone calls with ugly messaging doesn't make things any better. Long, unfocused emails or vague text messages can create ambiguity, which leads to miscommunication, which often leads to more conflict.
Some co-parent communication tools may claim to improve your interactions by providing you with just another messaging service, but replacing ugly messaging with ugly messaging in another system isn't much of a solution. When co-parents haven't succeeded in ending miscommunication by just messaging, it is time to try an alternative.
Miscommunication between co-parents can be avoided, and using the right tools can help. Equipped with various features to better focus and organize co-parent communication, the OurFamilyWizard® website is designed to reduce the stress of communicating and scheduling across multiple households. Using the website, co-parents are linked together to share information using four main features. Entries are created within these features using templates designed to get parents communicating about the important details rather than losing focus on other topics.
- The OFW® calendar offers tools to create parenting schedules, events, and even make requests for trades in parenting time. Calendar entries require certain brief details in order to help co-parents share all of the necessary scheduling information without changing the focus of an entry onto unrelated subjects. OFW®'s patented Trade/Swap tool makes it easier to propose modifications to the parenting time schedule. Besides simply allowing a parent to request time, they may also offer time in exchange. This allows for negotiations to take place and gives co-parents an opportunity to reach agreements that are approved on both sides.
- Expense and payment tracking tools allow co-parents to communicate about parenting costs in a neutral environment. Like the calendar tools, each expense entry requires specific details to be entered, plus parents can attach receipts to their entries. Even more, making payments to each other for parenting expenses has never been easier. Using OFWpay, co-parents can make secure transfers to each other for costs such as child support or medical expenses. Each step of every payment is tracked within the website, making it easy to know when reimbursement funds will reach your account.
- Family information like medical insurance, medication details, small details like clothing sizes, emergency contact numbers, child care facts, and so much more can be recorded in the Info Bank. The beauty of having a place to store all of this information is that you will no longer have to be constantly asking or answering questions about this information with your co-parent.
- With tools that cover the important topics that co-parents need to communicate about, the OFW® message board can often be used sparingly. The message board provides a way for parents to discuss any necessary topic that could not be communicated using the tools within the other features. Every OFW® message is time-stamped when it is sent as well as when it is first viewed by the other parent. Once sent, messages cannot be edited, and every message is saved indefinitely. This leaves a full record of co-parent messaging that can be turned into a report whenever needed. Unlike some co-parenting communication tools which claim to be free but get you with hidden fees for things like simply retrieving copies of your messages, an OFW® subscription gives you all of these features plus access to save and print your communication from your home computer at no extra cost.
Even with all of these tools to help co-parents achieve more amicable communication, you may still want to show your attorney parts of your conversations. Legal and mental health professionals can be given access to oversee your account via OFW® Professional Access. This level of access provided to family law attorneys, mediators, judges, therapists, and other professionals allows co-parent communication to be overseen whenever necessary. It also eliminates the need to be forwarding countless emails to your attorney.
When phone calls, emails, texts, and other messaging services create more conflict than they solve, the right templates and tools for communication can provide the answer you're looking for. The OurFamilyWizard® website gives you more tools to help you improve communication with no hidden fees and without limiting you to just messaging. Help your family move forward after divorce by creating an account today!