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A new way to communicate for joint custody parents

Lynn White and her husband Josh designed the web tool in response to her own unique custody situation

by: RAMONA MCCALLISTER/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Lynn White, with the help of her husband, Josh White, designed Divaroo, a website for parents who share child custody.

Navigating the world of shared child custody between parents is often like a minefield, and it can be difficult for all parties concerned.
   It was with this in mind that Lynn White set out to find a web tool for her own child custody situation. She wanted something that both she and her ex-husband could access and share — including a calendar, as well as some simple applications when their daughter was visiting the other household.
   “Josh and I, my husband now, were trying to come up with a way to communicate without having to do it over the phone, but it was still something where we could confirm his end and my end without the verbal communication,” said Lynn.
   So it began, but with no results. She couldn’t find a web tool that met her needs. Her husband, Josh White, designs web sites for a living, so together they decided to create their own website for joint custody. They created Divaroo.com, which is an LLC, and launched the website within the past month.
   “We started creating different features,” commented Lynn. “We were looking for anything that would help make communication between him and I (her ex-husband) to be a lot better than it was.”
   Lynn said that Josh created the website based on her needs, and they were the first to use the website. Initially, they created the website for their own situation. They soon saw its potential, since there are so many parents who share child custody.
   Lynn said they came up with the name Divaroo, because her daughter commented that she felt bounced back and forth between the two households like a kangaroo. This, along with the fact that the website name has to be original, drove the name of their new child custody site.
   “It allows parents to upload things to the calendar like a dance recital, and the other parent can then go on the website and confirm the fact that they saw it and confirm that they are there, so both parents can know exactly what is going on in their child’s life”.
   Some of the features include a calendar, medical documents — including blood types and allergies — a custody decree, private and shared journals, photo galleries, house rules, and a “backpack,” which includes a list of items that are sent over with the child.
   “It gives them an option to communicate in a healthy and productive manner for the children.”
   She said in their own site, they try to include positive and encouraging words for the sake of the children involved.
   “Essentially, it’s about the kids.”
   She noted that this is a good tool for parents who want to minimize verbal communication with the other parent.
   “If you go in and you put in anything, it is timed and dated, because a lot of people are having difficulty with documentation for child custody.”
    She said that it could potentially provide legal documentation that could be used in court. The website also includes a tool that shows confirmation when the other party clicks or opens a specific feature.
   According to Laura Cooper, attorney for Ball Janik, LLP, the courts will consider anything that is relevant and reliable, unless there is some specific reason not to.
   “Most of the rules on what is admissible and what is not admissible in a court case goes back to the fundamental issue of, ‘is it relevant and reliable?’”
   Lynn pointed out that they have set it up so there are some basic features that prospective customers can access for free. When a parent signs up, an invitation to join is sent to the other parent who has joint custody. Both parties can see the website, although one parent can feasibly have all the features, while the other has the basic package. Each parent pays for their own features of the website.
   “It automatically sends an e-mail to the other parent to sign up as well.”
   Lynn said that they have included a link for testimonials from current users.
   “We have got a lot of positive feedback. People have loved it.”