Your marriage has fallen apart, but you and your spouse are working hard to make the transition into a cooperative co-parenting relationship for the sake of your children – and your nanny is an integral part of your plans.
Sharing one nanny across two households can make it easier to give the kids more stability, but that’s not something that you can make work without a lot of open communication with both your ex-partner and your nanny.
Before you agree to this arrangement, talk about the details
Here are some of the things that you and your co-parent (and the nanny) need to talk about so that you’re absolutely certain you’re all on the same page:
- Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries with your ex-partner and the nanny to ensure that everyone understands their role and responsibilities. Make it clear that the nanny is never to be used as a go-between for parental discussions.
- Back-up plans: Discuss the rules for the nanny’s time off and sick days, including what secondary childcare options are available and agreeable to both parents.
- Privacy concerns: The nanny can’t be used as a sounding board when you want to vent about your co-parent, and they shouldn’t be used as a spy by one parent on the other. That can create unnecessary tension and put the nanny in an uncomfortable spot.
- Pay: Discuss with your co-parent how you will handle the nanny’s pay. You can consider splitting the cost equally or dividing it based on the amount of time the nanny spends with each child.
- Reimbursements: You also need to make a plan for child-related costs for which the nanny must be reimbursed, like gas for errands or snacks for playdates. If the nanny is provided with a car so that they can take the kids to school and extracurriculars, you need to determine who will pay for the car’s insurance, upkeep and other costs.
Affluent couples have all the same conflicts that other divorcing couples have – and then some. That’s why it’s so important to have legal guidance as you work through the process and find your “new normal.”