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Divorced parents and babysitters: 6 key tips

Hiring a babysitter can be tricky when you're divorced. What if your ex doesn't approve of the person you selected? What rights do you both have? Does your ex have a right to stop you from hiring someone? Should you figure all of this out in your parenting plan as you get divorced?

These are all important questions to ask. If you want the hiring process to go smoothly, use these six tips:

  1. Make sure you both agree. This is critical. If your ex doesn't like someone, find someone else. Both parents should sign off on the caregiver.
  2. Talk about schedules. Maybe the kids are going to be with the babysitter when your ex comes to pick them up. When should he or she arrive? Make sure everyone is on the same page.
  3. Decide what the babysitter is allowed to do. For instance, are you both comfortable with having him or her pick the kids up from school?
  4. Figure out who has to pay. Is it the responsibility of the person with custody of the kids at the time, or are you going to split the cost?
  5. Consider caregivers who have worked with divorced families before. This can be a complex situation, and experience goes a long way.
  6. Always focus on the children. Nothing should be as important as their safety and happiness. Always make that your goal and work together toward that end, no matter how you feel about each other.

As noted, you can figure a lot of this out in your parenting plan and custody agreement. Planning ahead is wise, so be sure you know what options you have.

Source: Care, "9 Tips for Hiring a Caregiver When You're Divorced," Dawn Allcot, accessed Feb. 01, 2018

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