Co-parenting is difficult. You need to keep an eye on information such as your child’s school and medical appointments, playdates, holidays custody, expenses, and papers, among others.
You’ll also need a trustworthy and neutral communication channel to efficiently reach your co-parent regarding your kid’s various problems. This is regardless of whether or not you’re amicable to co-parenting your child.
If you need a hand with co-parenting, then you should look into using a co-parenting app. OurFamilyWizard is one such service you can try to ease your co-parenting woes.
In this review, we’ll take a look at what OurFamilyWizard is all about. We’ll check the app’s features, list down its pros and cons, and compare it with other existing apps for co-parenting. We hope that by the end of this article, you can see if OurFamilyWizard is the right app for you and your co-parent.
OurFamilyWizard Overview and Features
OurFamilyWizard is a subscription service meant to simplify co-parents’ communication and custody planning for their children. It aims to be a neutral, accessible, and easy-to-use parenting portal for separated or divorced parents.
The utmost goal of OurFamilyWizard is to help improve a child’s development through better co-parenting communication. This keeps the child away from most adult conflicts resulting from an ongoing separation or divorce.
OurFamilyWizard can also be used to keep other family members in the loop on your co-parenting efforts and on the child itself. Besides, you may also grant your mediator or family lawyer connectivity to your account so that they can conveniently help with any possible disputes arising from your co-parenting.
OurFamilyWizard can be used simultaneously on a desktop, laptop, and a mobile app. My Family Wizard
Here are the notable features of OurFamilyWizard:
1. Shared Custody Calendar
The Shared Custody Calendar is the heart of the OurFamilyWizard service. This feature makes it possible for you to create shared schedules and assign tasks for yourself and your co-parent inside the schedule. The calendar is a useful tool to know you and your co-parent’s level of involvement in your kid’s activities.
Recurring Events Schedule
You can schedule recurring events on the calendar. For example, if your child needs to go to a music lesson every Friday from 4-5 pm, you can schedule it on the calendar and it immediately appears every Friday at the same time throughout the month. You can then factor in the times you and your co-parent will be with your child, respectively.
You may request your co-parent to sub for certain shared tasks you cannot meet at the moment. Simply send a trade request to your co-parent to do so. The co-parent receives a notice and lets him either approve or reject your request.
You may also swap a task for another responsibility to be done at a later time. This is useful when you can’t meet a particular task and you need your co-parent to completely sub-in for you right now.
You may create and document holiday schedules for birthdays, vacations, and school breaks. Holiday schedules may follow your regular parenting times, or you can override them as needed.
2. Expense Log
The Expense Log is a feature where you can conveniently store, track, and split expenses between you and your co-parent. You can upload snaps of receipts related to child-care expenses. OurFamilyWizard then automatically calculates how much each parent owes. This calculation depends on the category and approval status of the logged expense.
You can see the complete expense amount, the amount split between you and your co-parent, and the expense status for each childcare-related expense that you log.
Furthermore, you can pay your share of expenses using OFWpay. This is a secured payment solution through the OurFamilyWizard service or mobile app. Your expense statuses will immediately be updated once you use OFWpay for your payments. Hence, the burden of recording reimbursements will be considerably lessened for both you and your co-parent. My Family Wizard
3. Message Board
The Message Board is a completely secured tool to communicate with your co-parent, children, family members, and practitioners. It’s a more efficient alternative to text messages and emails.
With the Message Board, you can:
• Send out messages that will become part of an unchangeable message history
• See first-viewed timestamps
• Download all communications anytime, especially if it is required for court purposes
• Correspond with your co-parent and other users without sifting through spam and other emails
Since you can’t edit or delete exchanges from the Message Board, you can use your downloaded messages as evidence in court if anyone displays an unacceptable behavior.
ToneMeter is an added paid feature that lets you know if your messages sound insensitive and upsetting. It’s a useful tool to make you think twice about the words and sentences you’re using in your messages. After all, the Message Board’s exchanges can all be used in court, so the ToneMeter is a good way to filter out any potential offensive languages you may use in messaging your ex.
4. Info Bank
The Info Bank is a neutral and secure place to store information about your family. You can store files, forms, photos, and others in the MyFiles section for your personal safekeeping or for you to seamlessly share it with your co-parent. All files uploaded to MyFiles are permanently maintained and protected on OurFamilyWizard’s server.
Also, the Info Bank is a great place to organize all your family’s private and shared information. There are comprehensive categories that allow you to manage all sorts of information, from medical records to school documents to clothing sizes.
The Journal feature allows you to document memories in a searchable format. It’s like a virtual diary and family album inside the OurFamilyWizard app.
Journal has two main sub-features, namely:
Check-Ins allow you to verify your arrival at agreed-upon locations and exchanges. This is intended to record child drop-offs and pick-ups and is limited to a 500-foot radius around your present location. The limit is imposed to ensure more precise locations. Check-Ins are all GPS-verified and time-stamped.
Moments allow you to record family occasions and observations. Think of Moments as similar to a social media feed, albeit specifically created for your family’s use alone. You can upload photos, type up entries, and tag locations to enhance your entries. As such, there’s no location limit in Moments unlike in Check-Ins, so you can flexibly tag any location.
You can choose to keep your Journal entries private. You can also share it with your co-parent, family members, children, and even your practitioners.
6. Account Creation
OurFamilyWizard lets a parent grant access to several users connected to his/her account. This is designed to help parents manage file sharing and schedule-making. It’s also a way for other family members to check-in on the child/children and how they fare while being co-parented.
Here are the standard account types for OurFamilyWizard:
This is the main account of each of the parents. You can not use OurFamilyWizard on its own as a single parent; your co-parent also has to use the app as well.
Both parents are granted equal rights to access all the parenting tools on the app. You have administrative powers over your own parent account. Hence, you can create schedule, upload files, use message boards, and create new user accounts. You co-parent can do all these as well on his/her account.
You can create a child’s account so that your kid can see schedules and talk to other family members connected to your main parent account. Child accounts don’t have administrative powers and can not view adult matters. My Family Wizard
These are accounts you can create for close family members and friends such as grandparents, stepparents, godparents, aunts, uncles, and similar people. They have access to the shared calendar, message boards, and their personal journal. As with child accounts, third party accounts don’t have administrative powers.
These accounts are meant for family mediators, lawyers, therapists, and councilors. You can add them to let them watch family communications and help with any disputes, be it in court or not. Practitioner accounts allow these professionals to work more closely with their clients’ families.
Now, note that all accounts can be added free of charge. You and your co-parent can each add as many other child, third party, and practitioner accounts as you ‘d both like. My Family Wizard
OurFamilyWizard is available in different plans and pricing. You may select from any of the following:
1. Custom Plan Pricing
This is a flexible pricing plan that allows you to pick your subscription length (select from 1 or 2 years), storage space amount up to 10 GB, and if you ‘d like to add ToneMeter. Custom plans start at $99. Meanwhile, ToneMeter is available for $10 a year.
2. One-year Subscription
This is a bundled package that combines all pertinent features, plus 5 GB storage space and ToneMeter. It retails for $119.97.
3. Two years Subscription
This subscription carries all the features of OurFamilyWizard, plus ToneMeter and 5 GB storage space. The subscription length is for 2 years and is worth $209.97.
Additional storage can be added starting at $18 for 3 GB per year.
The platform offers discount rates for military families. Also, OurFamilyWizard provides fee waivers for families in financial distress. Moreover, the company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so that parents can try their services risk-free.
You or your law practitioner may request for certified documents and business records affidavit. Authenticated records may be requested through the OFW Customer Support. Minimum fees for authenticated records include:
• Search and Retrieval fee – $20.
• Certification flat fee – $20.
• Copying fee per page – 18 cents.
After full payment, your documents will be sent to you via mail.
Pros and Cons:
OurFamilyWizard has lots of helpful features, but it does have its share of disadvantages as well. We’ll take a look at a couple of its pros and cons.
• Offers one place for all family-related planning, organization, finances, and interaction.
• Convenient and easy-to-use platform.
• Can use fingerprint identification or a quick-access PIN to easily log in to the mobile app.
• The service is neutral to all concerned parties.
• Promotes civil communication even for families undergoing difficult separation proceedings.
• Enables children to interact with their parents while keeping them out of private adult matters and tensions.
• Affordable at almost only $8-9 per month for a wide range of practical features.
• All exchanges made within the app can be printed out and used for court records and proceedings.
• Has a dedicated Knowledge Center to help navigate through the service and app smoothly.
• Compatible with both iOS and Android.
• Can be used on Mac and Windows desktops or laptops.
• By far the most trusted and widely-used co-parenting app.
• Can not be used alone by one parent– it needs to be used by both parents.
• App and service may feel a bit overwhelming at first due to its wide range of functions.
• Design isn’t as sleek as other apps’ designs.
• ToneMeter may flag an otherwise inoffensive sentence as “upsetting”.
• No automatic feature to add recurring expenses every month– all must manually be added each month to the Expenses Log.
• Parenting schedule may be hard to add and manage on a small mobile screen.
• Some users have experienced log-in issues.
Comparing OurFamilyWizard to Other Co-Parenting Apps
How does OurFamilyWizard fare compared to other co-parenting apps? Let’s look at two more co-parenting apps:.
TalkingParents is a co-parenting service that offers a paid app version on Android and iOS. It also has a free website anyone can use.
TalkingParents also offers features such as calendars, messaging boards, and expense trackers. Paid app versions cost $5.99 per month. However, add-ons such as entries download may be too costly at $9.99 each. Also, certified copies of entries are quite expensive at $39.99 each.
If you’re considering paying for a co-parenting app, TalkingParents is a good choice but much costlier than OurFamilyWizard.
Cozi is a free app created for all kinds of families. It lets you create shareable lists, calendars, appointment reminders, notes, and journal entries with photos.
You may add up to 12 people to share your calendars and lists. This is quite a disadvantage compared to OurFamilyWIzard’s ability to include as many third-party accounts as possible. However, the ability to add 12 people isn’t bad for a free app.
Cozi offers a paid app version for $29 billed annually. This paid version is ad-free as opposed to the ad-riddled free app version.
OurFamilyWizard is a good co-parenting app to ease communications between separated parents. It has features such as messaging boards, shared calendars, check-ins, expenses trackers, and journals. It even comes with storage space to keep all important family-related documents and files. All these are available at affordable and flexible subscription rates. My Family Wizard
Certain downsides to the service include a not-so-sleek app design, potential difficulties in logging in, and the need for both co-parents to use the app together.
Nevertheless, OurFamilyWizard is a huge help for co-parenting families. It helps them nurture relationships with their children neutrally and civilly, without affecting the kids’ emotional development.
“I have been an Our Family Wizard subscriber since 2017. By using this tool, I believe I have made it clear that I am committed to peaceful co-parenting based on timely communication and transparency regarding our young child. I have been quite pleased with Our Family Wizard and its app as a communication tool for modern co-parents in a fast-paced world. The features I appreciate most are the time-stamped messages that show when it was first viewed, expense log, calendar and notifications. When I first subscribed to Our Family Wizard, I referred to it as “training wheels” for our family. We were learning how to ride together without any of us falling off. We were experiencing major changes. Our emotions were a tinderbox. Communication was difficult and tense.
Yet our child continued to depend on us to steady her by working together to make decisions, spending time together and showing her the hope of what our future could look like.
Looking back now, I see that Our Family Wizard was not our “training wheels.” It has become a unique tandem bicycle for the three of us as we continue on our special journey.
If you are considering Our Family Wizard, do subscribe. The company even offers a 30-day money back guarantee. Your family and its peace of mind are well worth the cost of this family-centered tool.”
“I am delighted that the court has finally ordered my husband and his ex wife to use this app. I have been suggesting this to him for several years! Co-parenting communication has always been more respectful when a third party is witnessing it. I don’t even care that it is fake respect, it is just such a relief not to worry about getting screamed at, cursed at, bullied, threatened, blackmailed or blatantly insulted without at least having the court as a witness to this destructive behavior. It has been ordered that she gets weekly updates about the children through OFW which is going to save us over $4000 a year not doing this through our lawyer!”
“I just want to say that I absolutely LOVE your product. I work in IT in Higher Learning, and we support many types of technologies, vendor products, and solutions for our clients, but this is absolutely amazing. It reminds me of a Learning Management System, with robust features for file sharing, communication, analytics, and metrics. THANK YOU for this tool. I am so thrilled that the court has ordered myself and the other parent to utilize this technology as an essential one-stop for all of our communication and family law needs, thereby eliminating other tools that do not provide the same level of transparency, facts, and documentation to the courts. I look forward to using this technology for many, many years to come and the nominal fee is very reasonable as a solution to co-parenting with challenging individuals.”