Co-parenting Goes Online

Parents can now coordinate 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. OurFamilyWizard.com is intended to remove conflict and improve 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 OurFamilyWizard website has quickly become the leading way parents coordinate all of their vital information, divorced or not.

The Indy Star newspaper ran this article about OurFamilyWizard: Online service helps divorced parents keep children’s schedules straight

Divorce is hard. Add children and juggled schedules to the mix, and things can get hostile.

Paul Volker and Dara Wegener-Volker, who live in Minnesota, were married in 2000. Volker brought three children to the marriage; Wegener-Volker brought one.

After her first marriage ended in divorce, Wegener-Volker started a desk calendar to manage her daughter’s schedule. Pink days were spent with Mom, blue days with Dad.

"To keep my life organized and civil, I did everything on paper," she says. "It was important for my daughter."

After the addition of Volker’s kids, scheduling conflicts escalated — until one night in 2001 when he had an idea. What if the couple could put their schedule online and make it visible to the other parents?

"I had kind of an epiphany," Volker says. "What if I could get everything on the Internet, and we would only have to see the information that was available, for the sake of the kids?"

That’s how OurFamilyWizard.com began.

The site, which went live in 2001, allows parents to input their schedules, coordinate days and swap visitation days.

The Web site is court-ordered in 35 states, because the records on the site are time- and date- stamped, and communications are backed up by an electronic breadcrumb trail. Expenses can be logged, and there’s even a journal on the site.

The Volkers, along with company president and CEO Jainarain Kissoon, also hope to add a section for child-support payment records.

The service has about 15,000 household subscribers, many of which are in California, Florida and Canada. It costs $99 a year.

A lot of users are reluctant to start with the service, according to Volker, who hopes the site brings families through the turmoil of divorce a little bit easier.

"I think it brings peace a lot sooner in children’s lives," Wegener-Volker says.

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