Submitted by: Delaine
This past week, a divorcing girlfriend told me about ‘collaborative software’, something her divorce mediator had recommended. Her and her ex’s parenting schedules are hectic and becoming a source of contention because of miscommunication. Moreover, she’s at the point where she really doesn’t want to see his face or talk to him if she doesn’t have to. Collaborative software can help alleviate that; it’s basically a way for divorcing couples to communicate using the web. It’s kind of like a ‘neutral’ zone where couples can connect, discuss and organize such things as:
1) school information
3) exchange times with the kids
5) appointments and activities
6) contact information (IE: if one parent is out of town or names/info of kids’ friends)
7) trading dates and times
The more my girlfriend explained this software, the more I saw its value – primarily for kids of divorce. For time and time again we hear it’s the ongoing hostilities between parents that harms children, whether it’s couples standing outside with crossed arms and scowls on their faces, or them bickering about pick-up times or missed events. Perhaps collaborative software would facilitate parents’ communication and thwart scenes from going down in front of kids.
When it comes to planning and organizing my children’s lives, I’m often pulling out my hair trying to relay details to my ex AND follow up with him to make sure he got them all. And truth be told, I don’t WANT to phone my ex or email him incessantly – I’d rather keep it to a minimum. Thus, collaborative software seems an effective and attractive way of managing the kids schedules with the bonus of not seeing him, hearing his voice, or worrying that he didn’t receive my text messages.
Moreover, I see this software as a way of preventing parents from using their kids as messengers, which is one my pet peeves. When my son returns home and says, “Hey mom, dad says to tell you he can’t take us next weekend,” or “Dad says don’t cash this cheque yet,” it’s like, C’mon, why the hell are you using your childas a go-between?
The software my friend’s mediator recommended is called Our Family Wizard. Two others are Joint Parents and Parenting Time. If you’ve used any of these programs and have feedback to offer, or, if you know of any others worthy of recommendation, please share them with us here!
Delaine – www.iamdivorcednotdead.com
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