Utilizing Online Tools to Streamline and Improve Communications Between Co-parents and Simplify Practitioners’ Custody Case Management

Communication problems continue to present challenges for co-parents, attorneys, and the court system. These challenges result in additional strain on children and families. Currently, a majority of co-parent communication takes place via e-mail and texting. However, as this presentation will demonstrate, these forms of communication are often unreliable, can be easily manipulated, and present admissibility concerns. Furthermore, they have the potential to ignite conflict rather than minimize it. This presentation will advise family law professionals on communication technology that is increasingly being ordered by courts and recommended by attorneys in custody cases. Participants will learn how they, as practitioners, can simplify and strengthen their knowledge of the communication between their clients and their clients’ respective co-parents through the use of online tools. Each attendee will receive examples of court orders currently being utilized to mandate the ways in which parents will make use of such tools in an effort to increase the effectiveness of the parents’ communication with one another.


Part 1: Parent behaviors and legitimate needs that have led to the evolution of the currently available toolset. Security and privacy matters were discussed. Hennepin County Family Court Pilot Project results.

Part 2: Dedicated to teaching practitioners about the breadth and specifics of the online tools that are available to parents. Communication, accountability, and transparency of documentation will be discussed.

Part 3: An overview of the specific tools that are available to court-appointed professionals for oversight and intervention.

Part 4: Examples of Order language to be discussed, appellate court case to be discussed, and an opportunity for attendees to ask questions relevant to their practice. Presenter to provide case examples if practitioners do not have specific questions.

Learning Objectives:

  • Familiarize all attendees with the online tools that are increasingly being recommended by attorneys and ordered by judges to communicate and document shared parenting needs;
  • Recognize evidentiary and reliability issues related to online communication tools utilized by co-parents; and
  • Learn how attorneys, mediators, and other professionals leverage online communication tools to help assess and improve co-parent communication.

Speaker: Danielle Kestnbaum, J.D., M.S.W., The Our Family Wizard Website

Family Law



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