When California parents make the difficult decision to dissolve their marriage, the care of any children involved in the divorce is paramount. In the ideal scenario, divorces are amicable, and each parent commits to working with the other. When putting together your co-parenting plan, be sure to ask these three questions.
Who handles childcare decisions?
Generally speaking, the parent responsible for making childcare decisions is the parent with primary custody of the child. These decisions involve which daycare to choose, which nanny to hire or which babysitter to work with. Creating continuity for your child is paramount, so it’s important to abide by the decisions the primary custodial parent makes.
Who is responsible for transporting the children?
After one parent becomes responsible for making childcare choices, transportation arrangements come next. Typically, the parent who has the child on a given day is responsible for dropping off and picking up his or her child at the childcare facility. On changeover day, be sure to remind your child that the other parent is picking him or her up after you drop him or her off. This helps create a sense of normalcy for your child following the divorce.
Planning for backup childcare
Daycares close for a variety of reasons, nannies get sick, and babysitters become unavailable. In those moments, which parent is responsible for handling childcare for the day? These issues typically fall on the parent who has the child on those days. However, work schedules make it difficult to take an unplanned day off work. With that in mind, your co-parenting plan should include a list of backup childcare options, including trusted friends or family members who can help out for the day.
The goal of any co-parenting plan is to provide exceptional care for children even when their parents separate. Having a written plan that focuses on childcare makes this a reality.