Our Family Wizard used as a stalking tool.

The our family wizard tool http://www.ourfamilywizard.com/ofw/ is a database that is used in all fifty states as a communication mechanism between parents. The court routinely orders it to be used in certain high conflict cases, to “resolve” in the court’s eyes the conflict and manipulates parents to use it. Since it is a third party tool affiliated with each court, the presumption is that there is some quid pro quo benefit for each party. The question is does the forced communication using a third party website, that most parents generally have to pay for, work?

In some cases yes, in others no. In cases where there is stalking involved, it is used as a stalking tool. In cases where there is abusive communication involved it is used as an additional battery tool as the court really demonstratively could care less if your peace of mind is disturbed.

The stalking consists of cyberstalking as the wizard has a feature which allows a person to view the logins of the other parent.  It is fairly obvious what the intent is when email is sent with the sole purpose to harass and annoy and the stalker logs in repeatedly on a daily basis to “observe” if the other person logged and read whatever the intent was to harass and annoy with.

So in addition to the day to day drive by stalking, involving third parties in stalking, leaving threatening voice messages on a phone and stalking by defamation the court forces a cyberstalking tool on the victim.

The National Center for Justice defines stalking as the following: ” Like domestic violence, stalking is a crime of power and control. Stalking is conservatively defined as “a course of conduct directed at a specific person that involves repeated (two or more occasions) visual or physical proximity, nonconsensual communication, or verbal, written, or implied threats, or a combination thereof, that would cause a reasonable person fear.” [1] Stalking behaviors also may include persistent patterns of leaving or sending the victim unwanted items or presents that may range from seemingly romantic to bizarre, following or laying in wait for the victim, damaging or threatening to damage the victim’s property, defaming the victim’s character, or harassing the victim via the Internet by posting personal information or spreading rumors about the victim.”

For the uninitiated and naive person it is difficult to imagine the depth of depravity that the stalker will resort to in order to achieve his/her stalking fix. As with any abnormal behavior the person stalking obtains a thrill out of the stalking behavior with a feeling of entitlement to the possession that he/she is stalking. The Our Family Wizard site features merely serve to perpetuate the stalking obsession, in these types of cases.

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3 comments on “Our Family Wizard used as a stalking tool.

  1. How true. The “Family Wizard” program may have enormous benefits to responsible parents who otherwise would be forced into face-to-face engagements that are likely to lead to conflict, but it has unappreciated risks for the unwary. It does provide a safe and neutral way to handle disputes between warring parents who would otherwise be forced to hire lawyers and evaluators, but it lacks the ability to prevent its own misuse. This is a critical flaw. Like the computer, it’s extremely flexible, and allows a parent with ill motives to know something about the other parent that will be misused. This information, in the hands of a few miscreants, is trouble waiting to happen.

    To the uninitiated, this may seem inevitable–who can’t abuse, for example, a car to drive to a crime? Or a pen to write ransom note? But family law is different–it is replete with troubled minds like stalkers who’s depravity is unknown to those who don’t understand the lengths to which people will go to attempt to maintain relationships important to them despite court orders that they may not maintain those relationships. Children need to be protected from these types–people who believe their wishes and desires are more important than the best interests of the child as determined by the court. Its up to us to be sure this technology is thwarted before it causes more harm.

    We’re vulnerable to the types of people who misuse technology. We need and demand better court and police protection. I also suggest examining the use of telephones by such people. They are a constant source of abuse by a parent calling, for example, a child’s schoolteachers or friends who might play an influential role in the child’s life. The “curious” (right) parent might seem innocuous, but his or her motives are rarely consistent with the child’s interests. It seems a bit out of range for the time being, but we urge parents to think hard about working on that problem next. A letter to your senator, court, or state legislator would be in order. Trouble is literally everywhere, so as a responsible parent you can never, ever, ever be too careful.

  2. I wanted to like the Family Wizard. I thought it would be an answer to so many problems. I did not head the words of a fellow parent who said it could be easily manipulated. I found out the hard way.
    First, the messages can be rearranged or inserted in another message very easily. Messages can be easily misinterpreted this way.
    Second, once you move the message you can type, retype or do anything you want to the other person’s original email. So for instance if I say “I will meet you at the drop off”my x can take that email copy it to another one in X’s reply message to me and reconstruct it to say “Dear x, because you are a loser and I hate you I will meet you at the drop off. PS I hope you die in a car accident.” Then just spring that to judgie at the hearing. Sure you can counter with the authentic post but in a 10 minute family court hearing are you ready for that? How can you prove you didn’t manipulate it. You are toast, so be ready for this because eventually everyone will do this if OFW does not fix it.
    Third, The only font is 6pt. Very difficult to read. A known way to get judges pissed off and not read the document is to submit something in small font. They won’t read it. I’ve tried in vain to change it using my own tools but can’t.
    Lastly, If you exchange invoices or accept payment through the Family Wizard the person receiving the money has to pay an overdraft fee, a fee, and the original amount sent by the payor if the payor’s bank account has insufficient funds. For example if I submit X a $100. invoice and X needs to pay $50.00 of it and X pays through OFW. I pay an $8.00 fee for the transaction. If X “accidentally” has no money in X’s account, I am charged a $25.00 insufficient funds fee, and OFW will debit the original 50.00 from my account. That is $83 I am out. And I still have to pay the $100 invoice. If after 10 of these overdrafts, I have the guts to take X to court, X will pay $500. the day before the hearing and tell judgie it won’t happen again. Judgie will say “ok, X paid 500 that should be good enough.” I say “Yes but X owes $830.” “Well we aren’t going to argue over small change” says Judgie. X chuckles. I pay my attorney 5,000. And every X gets a lesson in the art of manipulation using OFW.
    Like I said. I really wanted to like this. I wanted to pay for it and even paid X’s share. I would love to continue to use it but I was blind sided in court with the manipulated emails. Now I just don’t write anything.

  3. I am being harassed by my ex on a regular basis through OFW. I love the concept, but I just found out that my lawyer has no interest in using the “evidence” collected in OFW against my ex. I’m at a loss. I printed over 1200 pages from OFW for my lawyer to look at and she says it’s not enough. Looking for a new lawyer. I’m tired of being harassed and I’m tired of my kids getting dragged into his drama.

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