There are an increasing number of parenting apps out there which separated parents can choose from. Depending on the platform, they offer calendar and messaging facilities and various other useful features such as lawyer access, timestamped geotagging and tone meters. One of the better known apps is Our Family Wizard or OFW (other parenting apps are available etc etc). As far as I know it is only OFW which has developed a suggested template to be incorporated into a court order so that there is clarity about the way in which the app is to be used.
Templates of this sort are quite handy to have available, and are ready to adapt to the need of the case. Although the OFW template refers to features specific to that app I dare say there is potential to use it as a starting point or framework even for cases involving parents using other apps.
The OFW templates have recently been updated to bring them ‘in line with the new standard orders which are now being used across the family justice system. The language has also been updated to better mirror the cases where OurFamilyWizard has been court-ordered’, say the ever-assiduous comms people at OFW.
A word document of this language can be accessed and downloaded here: Updated Draft Order Language.
I’m not in the pay of OFW by the way, and nor do I think that parenting apps are appropriate or necessary in every case, but one issue that does sometimes come up is a mismatch in expectations as to which features are and are not going to be used, and what communication if any should be carried out off-app. Having a draft order is quite a useful prompt for discussions to clarify those potential issues before they emerge as a point for criticism or disagreement, so it’s worth taking a look and building something like this wording into your orders.