The most heartbreaking dramas that sociopaths create are those that involve children. Many sociopathic parents stand up in court proclaiming that they “only want what is best for the children.” They’re lying. What they really want is to use the children as clubs to beat their ex-partners into submission.
There is no such thing as a simple phone call to find out what little Johnny needs to bring to soccer practice. Every phone call or e-mail is an opportunity for the sociopath to manipulate, denigrate and infuriate the ex, through lies, innuendo and misinformation. For the parent trying to protect the children, it’s exhausting.
A few months ago, Lovefraud published a letter from “Penny,” who is in this situation. She wrote her Tips for co-parenting with a sociopath. One of Penny’s recommendations was that parents request that all communications with their former partners go through Our Family Wizard.
Our Family Wizard
Our Family Wizard is a website designed to facilitate communications between separated or divorced parents in relation to their children. It promotes “cooperative parenting:”
For the first time ever, parents can coordinate shared custody and joint custody parenting time schedules, health records, immunization histories, expense sharing, school information, virtual document storage and much more on a website specifically designed to deal with the issues that arise in co-parenting situation.
Our website is committed to removing conflict and improving the lives of children. In fact, judges in at least 35 states order families to utilize the site in contested cases to reduce conflict.
The Our Family Wizard website is a great tool for managing difficult parenting relationships. The website provides excellent documentation to help reduce conflict that may arise from ineffective communication. Should you need to return to court, all pages are printable and most come with a preformatted print option with all the necessary data you will need to show that you have met your parenting obligations.
The service costs $99 per year per parent. “This fee is worth it,” Penny wrote. “I know this because the judge hearing my case ordered that communication between my ex and I take place solely on the Our Family Wizard website … The judge also ordered that no verbal communication is to take place between the parties facilitating the exchange of my child.”
No creative language
Approximately 10,000 families—20,000 parents—use Our Family Wizard, according to Jainarain Kissoon, CEO. One reason why it helps in high-conflict situations, Kissoon says, is because the website’s structured format allows no room for “creative language.”
“Phone conversations used to turn into heated battles, then the battles moved to e-mail,” Kissoon says. “The site helps compartmentalize what everyone is doing. In co-parenting classes, they emphasize businesslike communication. The site provides organization—there are no long e-mails back and forth.”
With Our Family Wizard, parents can limit communication to filling in the blanks—soccer game, what day, what time, what the child needs to bring.
Our Family Wizard includes the following features:
- Calendar—each calendar event, such as soccer practice, includes which children participate, the location, the drop off parent and the pick up parent.
- Journal—entries can be shared or private. It’s a place to document any incidents, and all notes are time and date stamped.
- Message board—With no outside e-mail servers, there are no lost messages and always a way to verify a message has been received.
- Info bank—A place to manage all family information, such as schools, childcare providers, immunization history, emergency contacts, insurance and more.
- Expense log—tracks shared expenses, automatically calculating each parent’s contribution.
An important benefit of Our Family Wizard is its level of documentation:
- Each entry is time and date stamped—who created it and when
- Every page is stamped with the last time both parents viewed it
- Messages cannot be altered or unsent
- Dates on journal entries cannot be altered.
- One parent cannot change the other parent’s information
- Nearly everything can be tracked back to an IP address
- An accurate chronology of events can be produced
- All pages are printable
The software includes the option of third-party accounts, so, if necessary, therapists or guardians ad litem can monitor communications. If a parent engages in abusive behavior, it is readily discovered and difficult to deny.
With Our Family Wizard, it becomes easy to tell who is complying with court orders, and who is not. Kissoon relates why one judge said he liked the software: “It gives people enough rope to hang themselves.”
In an early pilot program for the software, a judge ordered 40 families to communicate only through Our Family Wizard. For two years, none of the families were back in court.
The Our Family Wizard website includes testimonials from parents. “Manuel S” wrote:
I am thankful to this avenue of communication. It has controlled the nasty phone calls from my ex-wife to me and my wife, and has put an end to her foul language since she is aware the content of messages is monitored. I have documentation to avoid he said she said situations and her violations of my rights to see my kids!”
Penny says the website works. “Please mention to readers that they can request that Our Family Wizard be ordered by the judge hearing their case,” she wrote. “The judge can order the Our Family Wizard email as the sole means of communication between couples litigating a child custody/visitation dispute.”
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