When you’re a parent, the last thing that you want to do is to have your divorce negatively affect your children by disrupting their sense of stability and routine.
Sharing the same nanny with your co-parent is a good way to provide some continuity for the kids – but it requires careful planning, good communication and a sincere effort at cooperation between you, your co-parent and the nanny. The following are some steps that can make this process easier.
Agree on a parenting plan
Your parenting plan will help determine when each parent will have physical custody of the kids, so you need to hash out those details before you start discussing anything with the nanny. Aim for an agreement that everybody can agree is reasonable and fair, always prioritizing the best interests of the children.
Set the nanny’s schedule
You need a formal contract in place with the nanny that outlines her responsibilities, work hours and compensation. Make sure that the contract specifically notes that the nanny will travel between households with the children, and note which days the nanny will have off (including holidays).
Decide how to split the cost
Will you split the cost of the nanny’s services down the middle, or will you and your co-parent divide it according to your relative incomes? Make sure the financial arrangements are clear and fair – and don’t forget “sundry” expenses, like gas for the nanny’s car if they’ll be transporting your children or spending money for snacks and small essentials for the children that the nanny may need to pick up on the fly.
Develop a process for communication
Your nanny may need to communicate with you and your co-parent about the children, and you may need to communicate with the nanny from time to time about schedule changes or emergencies. You don’t want anybody “left out of the loop” in these situations, so get an app for messages and an online calendar that can be used for this purpose.
There’s more to crafting a workable parenting plan than most people realize, and agreements about child care services are just one of the complex issues that they can address. With the right legal guidance, you can craft a flexible agreement that may serve your family well for years to come.