Evans Family Law Group – Our Family Wizard

Divorce can create a time management, communications, and financial quagmire for parents.

More and more often parents and, the Courts, vary from the “standard possession orders” in the Texas Family Code. This means that parents must communicate well or otherwise have a system in place that allows them to easily plan and coordinate the children’s scheduling needs all the while trying to manage which days the children are with which parent.

More than just scheduling issues, parents often communicate by electronic means. However, these forms of communication vary such as cell phone texting, email, facebook or other social media communications. Texting by phone can be with one parent utilizing an apple phone and the other with an Android-based platform.

This means these communications can be lost, deleted, or at a minimum, they are spread across multiple mediums and are not easily organized. It is common for parents to be presented with a need for these communications whether it be for a parent, both parents, a professional involved with the parents such as a family counselor or the Courts.

Last, parents cannot avoid the necessity of financial reimbursement of costs or expenses incurred that are not part of the child support or paid through the Child Support Disbursement Unit. Whether the reimbursement is for health care related costs not covered by health insurance, extra-curricular activities, summer camp or other similar expenses incurred on behalf of the Children that the parents share parents need a simple platform by which they can submit these receipts to the other parent and make these payments to the other without argument.

As a family law professional, I have found “Our Family Wizard” to be a solution to these problems. Our family wizard is a complex yet simple information sharing site for parents to share calendars, records, communications, expenses or receipts and all in one organized space.

With Our Family Wizard, parents download the application to their phone (Apple or Android) and all communications go through the application and are maintained on the Our Family Wizard site. There is no more having to screenshot and print multiple messages to forward to them, as OFW allows you or the professional to log in and download the messages all in one place.

For families working with a family counselor, facilitator, or parenting coach Our Family Wizard provides for a “professional account” so these professionals working with families can in real time monitor communications between parents. Using Our Family Wizard in this way often puts a stop to harassing text messages between parents, and parenthetically makes it easy for your attorney to demonstrate this to the court, but also allows the professional to work with the parents in real time on how to improve their communications with the other and continue to effectively co-parent.

With Our Family Wizard, receipts for expenses incurred on behalf of the children are published to the site and is a means of formally notifying the other parent. No more faxing or certified mail for these purposes. The parent receiving such notice can “accept” such payment and OFW even operates as a clearing house for payments so a parent can reimburse the other through the site.

Last, Our Family Wizard is a place where the parents can organize the calendar for the visitation plan and everyone can be on the same page to avoid conflict about possession and access. On this point, Our Family Wizard allows for a “child account”, which is free to allow the children to see a shared family calendar, journal and view the message boards. No worries, the Parents have the ability restrict what information the child(ren) have access. But if both parents feel it is appropriate, this is a way to keep the child informed in real time what the calendar and scheduling is .

Our Family Wizard “logs” and “archives” every calendar, message, and expense entry so there is no worrying if something was deleted or is no longer “findable”. No more searching old texts or email by subject line. Everything is all in one organized place.

The cost is $99 for a one-year subscription per parent or $179 for a two-year subscription. As a specialist in the practice of family law, I often tell clients I wish I had thought of it.

The team at Our Family Wizard has been kind enough to authorize my firm to publish a training video for the software for us to point our current or prospective clients and users to view. If you have questions, please call my office at (512) 628-2550.