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  #1  
Old 10-30-2012, 10:02 AM
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mom2lexmorian mom2lexmorian is offline
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Default Parents Who Are Divorcing...

Hi everyone, I just signed up for Daycare.com forums and this is a first in my 15 years of doing home daycare.

I have parents who are starting the process of divorcing. The child (2 years old) is doing great. They have a schedule where Mom has him for one week, then Dad has him the other week. The parents are very bitter right now and is very particular if one parent or the other sees the child during "their" time. Daycare is the drop off/pick up point (every Thursday is when the Mom/Dad schedule changes...one drops and the other picks up).

The problem that I am having now is that I really never knew Dad personally prior to this as Mom was the primary contact for drop offs/pick ups (Dad worked very long hours). He seems like a great parent and takes care of his child. BUT I think he is trying to make me the middle man and its making me nervous. One comment that was made last week was "See how clean Johnnys skin has been since he has been with me? (Johnny has exzema which is known)...can you please let me know if his skin flares up when Mom has him?". Mom has been concerned about childs Grandpa picking up on Dads week (Grandpa is helping him out) and questions me about the times the child is picked up (she can see times on our sign in/out sheet when its her week). I just feel like Im in the middle now and I dont think its fair. I feel like giving them my two weeks, but then again I really enjoy caring for Johnny and I dont want to fail him, especially during this difficult transition time.

Was thinking about having a meeting and have a written contract of some things, like expectations, etc. Also thinking about giving Johnny a book to take home every day, kind of like a communication book, which would list when his face (or other body parts) flare up with his medical condition, or when he seemed itchy that day, etc. Parents can then see whats going on during their off weeks.

If you have an experience with parents who are divorcing (who have NO communication with one another, except at court visits!), I would appreciate it. So, so sad that they cant put their problems aside to discuss things.
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  #2  
Old 10-30-2012, 11:02 AM
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Michael Michael is online now
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Welcome to the Daycare.com Forum! I upgraded your status. You can post freely now.
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  #3  
Old 10-30-2012, 11:11 AM
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No! Don't allow them to put you in the middle. If the child's skin flares up during Mom's week, discuss it with Mom. If Dad wants to know about it he can ask Mom to keep him updated. If Mom does t like Grandpa picking up, she can talk to Dad about it.
The book is a good idea, if the parents are the ones filling it out and reading it. I had a pair of divorced parents do this and I never saw the inside of the book.
Mom and Dad need to learn to communicate with each other for the good of their child, and without your help. Your job is to provide care for the child, nothing more. BTDT.
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  #4  
Old 10-30-2012, 11:40 AM
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Blackcat31 Blackcat31 is offline
 
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Here is a letter I give all parents who share custody:

Dear Families,

Over the years I have noticed my role as child care provider can often create the impression that we are extended family. Because your child's welfare is so important, this care and nurturing can create an intimacy between us that makes us feel more like family than business partners. As a home daycare provider, I strive to foster this sense of community, and to provide the closeness you will not find in a child care center.

However, there does need to be well defined boundaries in certain areas. Some of you are currently in the process of redefining your families, and are struggling with court orders, custody issues, and feelings of estrangement. It is imperative I remind all of you that I must remain a neutral third party. As your child's advocate, their needs are my sole priority. Please keep in mind, this doesn't mean that I am unaware or unaffected by the turmoil you face; I am sorry for your pain and I do mourn the loss of your child's family as they have known it. Still, I can't let any feelings I have for you interfere with my role in providing your child a safe, neutral environment where they can express their own feelings of sadness or fear. In consideration of this, here is a list of some of the things you need to remember should you wish to keep you child enrolled at (name of child care facility):

1. My home is a safe haven for them; please refrain from expressing your sadness or frustration about your child's other parent (and perhaps their new significant other) within their presence. Your child is extremely perceptive and already knows how you feel; my home is one place they should be able to escape this tension.

2. Please provide me with any copies of legal documents I need regarding the custody or care arrangements for your child. Keep in mind that in the absence of any court documents, I cannot legally keep a child from his or her parent, and will not agree to any such arrangement.

3. Develop a well thought out plan for pick-up and drop-off. Do NOT make my driveway a place of confrontation. If you need to do a "switch" where the child moves from one parent's care to another during the course of the week, choose someplace else to do so.

5. Do NOT put me in the middle of any issues you have regarding child support payment or the payment for my services. Work out a plan for who is responsible to pay for your child's care and do so promptly and courteously. I know money is a primary point of contention in many separations -- do NOT make me ask for payment for my services or you will find yourself looking for a new child care provider.

6. Do not request that I do anything for you other than the normal array of service you have received in the past. I will NOT document anything other than legitimately suspected mistreatment, so don't ask me to spend time evaluating your ex-spouse's parenting skills or capability as a parent. If the court feels they need my opinion, they will provide me with a list of written questions I will answer to the best of my ability. I operate an honest business and consider my integrity and trust two hallmarks of my home.

7. I do not participate in supervised visitation. My home is a "Home away from home" for many children and I need to consider the welfare of ALL my families when making decisions. I am a child care provider -- not a mediator or evaluator.

In summary, please minimize to the greatest degree possible, any disruption to your child's regular day at my home. Separation of a family is a big issue to young children, and my home may be the place of stability where they can work through their emotions and confusion.

If you have questions, please call me at 555-555-5555
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  #5  
Old 10-30-2012, 02:10 PM
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spud912 spud912 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Here is a letter I give all parents who share custody:

Dear Families,

Over the years I have noticed my role as child care provider can often create the impression that we are extended family. Because your child's welfare is so important, this care and nurturing can create an intimacy between us that makes us feel more like family than business partners. As a home daycare provider, I strive to foster this sense of community, and to provide the closeness you will not find in a child care center.

However, there does need to be well defined boundaries in certain areas. Some of you are currently in the process of redefining your families, and are struggling with court orders, custody issues, and feelings of estrangement. It is imperative I remind all of you that I must remain a neutral third party. As your child's advocate, their needs are my sole priority. Please keep in mind, this doesn't mean that I am unaware or unaffected by the turmoil you face; I am sorry for your pain and I do mourn the loss of your child's family as they have known it. Still, I can't let any feelings I have for you interfere with my role in providing your child a safe, neutral environment where they can express their own feelings of sadness or fear. In consideration of this, here is a list of some of the things you need to remember should you wish to keep you child enrolled at (name of child care facility):

1. My home is a safe haven for them; please refrain from expressing your sadness or frustration about your child's other parent (and perhaps their new significant other) within their presence. Your child is extremely perceptive and already knows how you feel; my home is one place they should be able to escape this tension.

2. Please provide me with any copies of legal documents I need regarding the custody or care arrangements for your child. Keep in mind that in the absence of any court documents, I cannot legally keep a child from his or her parent, and will not agree to any such arrangement.

3. Develop a well thought out plan for pick-up and drop-off. Do NOT make my driveway a place of confrontation. If you need to do a "switch" where the child moves from one parent's care to another during the course of the week, choose someplace else to do so.

5. Do NOT put me in the middle of any issues you have regarding child support payment or the payment for my services. Work out a plan for who is responsible to pay for your child's care and do so promptly and courteously. I know money is a primary point of contention in many separations -- do NOT make me ask for payment for my services or you will find yourself looking for a new child care provider.

6. Do not request that I do anything for you other than the normal array of service you have received in the past. I will NOT document anything other than legitimately suspected mistreatment, so don't ask me to spend time evaluating your ex-spouse's parenting skills or capability as a parent. If the court feels they need my opinion, they will provide me with a list of written questions I will answer to the best of my ability. I operate an honest business and consider my integrity and trust two hallmarks of my home.

7. I do not participate in supervised visitation. My home is a "Home away from home" for many children and I need to consider the welfare of ALL my families when making decisions. I am a child care provider -- not a mediator or evaluator.

In summary, please minimize to the greatest degree possible, any disruption to your child's regular day at my home. Separation of a family is a big issue to young children, and my home may be the place of stability where they can work through their emotions and confusion.

If you have questions, please call me at 555-555-5555
Wow, I do not have this issue right now, but just wanted to note that you have an excellent way to phrase things, Blackcat! I hope if I ever have this issue, I can find this thread again!
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  #6  
Old 10-30-2012, 03:05 PM
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Blackcat31 Blackcat31 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spud912 View Post
Wow, I do not have this issue right now, but just wanted to note that you have an excellent way to phrase things, Blackcat! I hope if I ever have this issue, I can find this thread again!
Thanks but honestly I don't think I can take credit for it I "think" I got it eons ago from somewhere else....maybe a fellow provider or a course I took. ???? I can't really remember any more but I am pretty sure I didn't write it. I may have tweaked it over the years to fit my program and the way I feel but like I said, I don't think I wrote it....

How sad that I can't remember....Definitely a sign that I am getting old
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  #7  
Old 10-30-2012, 03:11 PM
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grandmom grandmom is offline
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I've copied this for my files because this is exactly right. Thanks. I hope I never have to use it.
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  #8  
Old 10-30-2012, 03:20 PM
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biglou biglou is offline
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Default On divorcing parents

One more critical note.

If you do not have a contract with both parents names and signatures, get it done ASAP. May sure the contract states that both parents are responsible for payment of the child care costs. Make sure they do not try to split the payments on you. I mean, mom pays for the week when she has the child and dad pays when he has him . This action puts you in their financial mess post marriage and you don't want to be here. Have the contract state when and how payment is made. Preferably single check from one of them. If their relations get worse, they will involve you by paying for your services individually, and it will get ugly when one of them decides they don't want to pay you because the other parent should pay and so on...

If one doesn't pay then you can take action against both!!!

Good luck!

Big lou
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  #9  
Old 10-30-2012, 04:20 PM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
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I was just going to suggest BlackCats letter so I'm glad that she put it up. I saw her post it once and I saved a copy of it and changed it up a bit to better fit me and tucked it away. Not a week later and a DCF began going through this very situation. That same day that I found out I gave the DCM a copy of this letter (DCM is the only parent that I come in contact with anymore) and that solved most of the issues. DO IT!! Don't wait until you need to give it to them or it will be akward. Just give it to them now so that they already know better than to ask about it.

And like biglou said ... have a contract (or two seperate ones) that clearly says who will have DCB when, who is paying what and when etc. And make sure that you ask for a copy of any custody paperwork and explain that without it you can't legally keep the DCB from the other parent.

The hardest part about all of this will be enforcing the "staying neutral" part. They will probably still ask you questions about the other parent and all you have to do is refer them to the other parent.
DCP "What time was little johny picked up last week by [whoever]?"
YOU "Hmm, why don't you ask [other parent]" rinse and repeat.

PS: if either request copies of documentation for their case or court etc. ask them to have their attourney send you a subpeona. Otherwise trust me ... you may get all kinds of odd requests for declarations, observations etc.
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