It is virtually impossible for any parent always to be with his or her children. After all, you eventually must go to work, travel, attend appointments or even simply take a break from your kids. Luckily, there are many excellent childcare services, nannies, babysitters and family friends who can take excellent care of your children in your absence.
If you share custody of your kids with a former partner, picking a childcare service or babysitter may not seem so straightforward. Indeed, you may wonder exactly how childcare works in post-divorce families that have joint-custody arrangements.
Each co-parent generally has the authority to choose the childcare provider during his other parenting time. That is, picking a babysitter falls squarely under the co-parent’s list of parental duties. Nevertheless, according to Psychology Today, constantly sending your kids to different childcare providers can be disruptive to them.
It is not uncommon for co-parents to work together to pick a childcare service. If you and your co-parent can agree on a babysitter or two, your children are likely to benefit from knowing what to expect. Still, not every co-parent is willing either to collaborate or to defer to the other co-parent’s decision-making process.
You may want to think about putting a refusal clause in your custody agreement. These clauses require each parent to ask the other to provide childcare prior to exploring other options. While you can refuse, agreeing gives you more time with the young ones in your family and prevents your kids from spending time with someone you do not trust.
Ultimately, by making childcare-related decisions proactively, you and your co-parent can keep from butting heads over the matter in the future.