Divorce and Visitation Situation

opinion 1
If you've worked with a family who has gotten a divorce how was visitation handled? I'm wondering more how the summer will go when the non custodial parent has their summer time. Did you work during that time? We're you expected to watch the kids at the non custodial parents house? What about during the holiday breaks? When the non custodial parent has visitation during the week and weekends, were you the one that handed the kids off? If you did/do, is the person picking the kids up allowed in the house or do you have the kids ready and waiting at the door? Any other advice you can give me except to stay out of the fighting between the parents?


Phoenix said...

honestly i think this would be a case by case basis. No family handling the nanny situation the same as any other family. I think you should expect to be the nanny in both households unless you are told otherwise. But keep in mind things could change quickly. Like for instance the dad gets remarried to a woman who stays at home. Or mom gets married to someone and she wants to take on the role of watching the kids. Or perhaps neither one can afford a nanny anymore.

Also be sure to be take on an extra responsibility of being supportive to both parents and the children. This is going to be hard on everyone. Even though you are not family and you shouldn't be involved in anything you are in charge of the children and that means emotional support. Be prepared for an increase in tantrums and the parents using you to get back at one another. The parents may also change the way they treat the kids especially when it comes to presents and extra treats. Divorce is always messy. You will need to speak to the parents

Bethany said...

I'll echo what Phoeniz wrote.

They'll let you know what if any of your duties will change. Yes, you'll have to be extra flexible but don't let them guilt you into more than you can handle. Don't feel you have to be their doormat because of the situation.

As far as the kids continue to be a good nanny to them be ubderstanding of new moods and behaviors but don't become a pushover because you feel sorry for them. Be their advocate if needed, if the parents can't behave like adults.

Do not get in between mom & dad. Don't become their surrogate spouse, or counselor, don't allow yourself to become their pawn.

GBRudy16 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MissMannah said...

My last family was split up. I would say divorced, but they were never married to begin with. What makes it worse is that they gave me the impression that they were happy and together when I was hired and then on my second week *surprise* mom and baby have moved across town.

They shared custody and I went back and forth between the two houses. They were both about an equal distance from my house so I didn't mind doing this. When I was at mom's house, the dad would always come pick the baby up and he used to come in the house to collect all his stuff. Then they started fighting more and mom decided to put me in the middle of it and specifically told me to tell dad not to come in her house ever again. (I wish I was exaggerating.) So I had to start handing the baby off to him, but he still thought he needed to come in. It got very awkward. They both would bad-mouth each other to me right in front of the baby all the time. The mom would steal stuff from dad's house and hide it in her bedroom and the dad would ask me where it was.

My advice is to set immediate boundaries when you start the job. Make it perfectly clear that you will not get in the middle of their nonsense and that they need to get all their custody issues figured out before you start working for them. If they try to put the children in the middle of it or bad-mouth each other in front of you, make sure you tell them how detrimental it is for the children. I tried doing this but the parents always brushed it off. "He's just a baby, he doesn't understand." The worst was when they were fighting and I had to play messenger between them. Do not let them rope you into that--for one thing it is just plain immature.

calcuLATER said...

The girl I babysit for, and have babysat for for 8 years, has divorced parents. I will watch her at either parents house, but most of the time it is at her moms.

It probably depends on the family and the circumstances a lot. In my situation, whoever has custody the day that I sit her is responsible for paying me. I have been the one to hand her off to her parents. For example, if her mom is at work, but it is her dad's weekend, I would pick her up from school, take her to her mom's, help her pack a weekend bag, bring her to her dad's and stay with her there until he got off work. I like both parents, and luckily they are both very cordial.

An interesting situation though-my charge's parents have been divorced since she was 2. When my charge was about 7 and I was 19, my parents got divorced. We have always been very close, and one night shortly after I found out, I was giving her a bath. She asked me why I seemed sad and I told her.

We had the following conversation:
N (Charge): But you will still see your mommy and daddy all the time, like I do, right?
Me: yes of course, just separately.
N: It won't be so bad. You will spend alone time without fights with each of them. But when something important happens you will all be together.
Me: How do you know?
N: I just know. Stop being sad.

And 5 years later, she was right! love that kid.

y said...

Here is my two cents:

I am divorced. I take care of childcare when I have my child, which is most of the time, and Dad takes care of childcare if needed on his days. I don't believe that a sitter should be shared.

As far as drop off or pick up, I would suggest having the child ready. My child is school age now, but when she was little my sitter would bring the baby out to his vehicle so he never even got out of the car.

And Phoenix is right: it depends on the circumstances.

Miss Mannah, you seem to have something against people who are not "married." What is your deal? I know plenty of shitty parents who are married. What matters is that the child is in a loving home. Some people choose not to be technically married. I have friends who are not married yet have been together for years and are great parents. I have friends who are married and are shitty parents.

Bethany said...

I just read and reread Miss Mannah's post I didn't see anything thing that made is seem like she was against parents that aren't married.

She's right they were never married so they never did divorce. They split or broke up.

I also thin it's shitty to think you are starting a new job in one home and location & two weeks in realize you'll have to drive longer.

Also break-ups/divorces are a difficult situation something you might not want to start a new job with.

I know this isn't PC , but I honestly believe alot of the issues we see in kids today is the result of their parents that aren't married or divorced.

Dakota said...

My ex-husband and I have been divorced for 3 years now and I could never imagine telling him he couldn't come into our home. Heck, he still eats at our dinner table a few times a week. I guess we're probably in the minority, but it's so much easier on the kids when the parents get along. We do have a special needs son together so maybe that is part of the reason we are such good friends. I honestly don't know how I'd do it without his help.

Nanny of One said...

Dear Poster,

I have been a nanny for 3 years now in a divorce-situation for one child.

Below are my bits of advice:

- Keep it clear if you are employed by one parent that you are their employee and do not take orders/instructions from the other parent unless your employer states so.

- Keep boundaries clear, you are there to watch and provide support for the children. Do not get into conversations with your employer regarding the divorce or feelings on that topic. Keep clear, as sometimes people in these situations may be extra needy and you must keep a professional distance.

Ask your employer to make up a plan, for example, in my situation, the non-custodial parent picks the child up always from the parent and never from me, in order to avoid conflict.

At times, I meet the other parent at their place of work or a coffee shop and we do the exchange, then the parent hands the child off to the mother from there.

At no point get invovled in the messes that divorce can cause. You should never be alone with the other parent, and no I do not think that a nanny should be required to alllow the non-custodial parent into the household at all.

All visitations should be made between the parents. In the event that the nanny needs to drop off the childre the nanny should DROP the children off that way you can limit your contact with the other parent, and keep it to a min.

For example, I once agreed for the other parent to pick up the child, the parent then took this chance at alone time with me to yell, scream and accuse me of stealing her family and husband. Needless to say that is the last time I allowed myself to be invovled in any child exchange.

Also, protect your self in your nanny contract and have a clause that states that you will get paid a min amount per week regardless if the children stay longer or an overnight with the other parent. Make this very clear. As you do not want the employer to call you and say your not needed this week or Monday-Wednesday because the child is staying with Mom/Dad.

Ne thing else, please respond and I will be happy to comment for you.

Best Wishes,

Nanny of One.

Rocky Mountain Nanny said...

Make it clear that you will not keep secrets from either parent involving the child. I worked for a divorced couple and the dad was always letting the little girl do things like stay up late, watch too much TV, eat lots of candy, etc. He started asking me not to tell the mom, which made me very uncomfortable. Finally I had to ask him not to show or tell me anything that he wouldn't want the mom to know too. He was really angry, I wished I had cleared that up in the beginning.

MissMannah said...

"Y" I don't know what you are talking about. If I had some moral objection to people raising children together but not being married, I wouldn't have accepted that job in the first place. Maybe you are projecting your own feelings onto my post? I'm not sure. My sister and her boyfriend have been together for 24 years and they are just as happy as the day they got together when they were 15 years old. None of us have ever pressured them to get married because they don't feel the need to and we're all perfectly fine with that.

meghan said...

I'm so glad that someone asked this question. I'm a nanny for a couple who are going through a divorce. The dad isn't exactly making it easy and rarely sees the children. I'm stuck in the middle of their bitter disputes and was wondering where to draw the line. It's nice to know that I'm not alone out there.

Phoenix said...

People need to understand that each divorce is different. My parents are divorced but they still do holidays together and my mom is re-married. Some people are able to remain friends. Others not. My husband's ex has NEVER step foot in my house. in fact my step-son has never seen his parents together. They were apart since he was born because his mom kidnapped him. The emotional tole that is takes on kids hinders on the parents. My step-son never seeing his parents together one day came over to my house crying because his mom was sad that she was no longer with his dad and "missed" him. (She didn't miss him she saw that he had a house and money - because of ME) She wanted the life not my husband. So she was using her son as a pawn in an adult game. It was sick. My advice is lend the support to the kids and set boundaries with the parents. If they are good people like my parents it will be easy. If they are evil my husband's ex it will be a very difficult situation to be in. Completely depends on the couple

I also didn't read that MissMannah has issues with people not being married. That is a strange statement to make. I don't think she is that judgmental

GBRudy16 said...

Like Phoenix said, it depends on the people. But I think it also depends on the length of time they've been divorced. I don't think OP mentioned that in her post, but I'm going to assume it has been awhile because they've already got custody worked out.

Thank you, Phoenix, for saying I'm not that judgmental. I certainly am not, at least about this. I will admit when I am being judgmental, as I'm sure you'll notice I've done several times on here.

MissMannah said...

Sorry, that last post "gbrudy" was mine. My husband apparently felt the need to use my laptop today and leave his account signed in and I didn't notice. LOL, I told you guys I'm computer-illiterate!

Phoenix said...

all good. I was wondering who that was. LOL

MissMannah said...

I am such a dork sometimes! :)

Op said...

Thanks for the advice guys, I'm reading it and taking notes

my comment said...

"I know this isn't PC , but I honestly believe alot of the issues we see in kids today is the result of their parents that aren't married or divorced."

This is an ignorant comment. I work in a childcare program and without a doubt most of our biggest asshole parents and kids with the most behavioral issues are from nuclear families. Married. The kids are spoiled, entitled, not pleasant. On the other hand, most of the single parents are hardworking and teach their kids better manners.

I take offense to this comment. Bad parenting has nothing to do with a bad marriage.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

"My comment" FYI you just used a double standard by saying that unmarried or divorced parents don't cause issues but then saying that married parents have spoiled/entitled/non pleasant kids. So it's not ok for her to lump divorces with issues but it is ok for you to lump marriage with entitlement?? Doesn't make sense.

I am going to have to disagree with both of you and say that neither divorce and "issues" and marriage and entitlement are mutually exclusive. I do know kids from divorced families who do have behavioral issues (I am guessing that is what is meant here) BUT I also know kids in divorced families who think that their parents owe them the world since they were the ones that shook up the family. Same goes for the kids with married parents, it's all a mixture. I don't think it's fair to classify people like that.