Guardianship vs. Custody: What’s the Difference

Guardianship vs. Custody

A lot of people wrongly assume that custody and guardianship are the same thing, or at least that they are the same in all but name. While both relate to the care of others, they are not the same. There are some key differences between custodians and guardians.

Understanding the difference is crucial, especially if you are heading into any legal proceedings. A good guardianship attorney can make all the difference and help you to win any case brought forward.

What is Custody?

Custody of a child can relate to both physical and legal custody.

Physical custody means physical control of the child for a period of time, having them stay in your house at that time, for instance. So, someone who isn’t the custodian may have rights to see someone for a certain time, and in that time they have physical custody.

Legal custody means the authority for decision-making regarding children, and things like their schooling or any medicine they are taking.

What is Guardianship

Guardianship, on the other hand, generally refers to a legal relationship in which one party (‘the guardian’) is empowered to act for the benefit of another (‘the ward’).

Guardianship is slightly different, it refers to a legal arrangement. The guardian is allowed in the eyes of the law to act for the benefit of the “ward” or young person in question. The relationship can be a good way to help to look after both children but also adults with mental disabilities. The responsibilities of guardians aren’t the same as of parents or custodians, but they do need to keep the child safe and protected, guardianship can also be temporary in some scenarios such as the parents being alive but unable to provide care.

What Decision-Making Power Do Custodians and Guardians Have

Custodians are usually more involved in the decision-making of a child or vulnerable adult, and creating a course for their life and future. Having custody of a child means having the majority of the rights that parents ordinarily have, depending on any court arrangements which may limit custody.

If you are a guardian of a child then there is every chance that you will just be making the day-to-day decisions. You might be helping a child with their homework, deciding what they eat for their lunch, and more, but you won’t be making the big decisions such as how an illness is treated.

What’s the Difference Between Physical and Legal Child Custody

Physical custody over a child is having them in your physical presence and being able to look after them for that time. For instance, separated parents may share custody, and one sees the child at the weekends while the other sees them during the week. Legal custody is more related to decision-making and being able to have a steer over the child’s life. This means choosing things like how they will be cared for, where they go to school, and more.

Who Appoints a Custodian or a Guardian

A custodian or guardian is appointed by the court, with a judge having the final say on who is appointed after looking at the evidence and often the wishes of parents if they have passed away.

If the change in custody is a shock and nobody has planned for it then the courts will be able to rule over the custody or guardianship of a child or a vulnerable adult.

Who May Receive Custody or Guardianship

A court can appoint a guardian or custodian, and only a judge has the power to make the final decision. However, that doesn’t mean people don’t have any input on their own children. Estate planning is crucial, and in your will you can outline who you would like to take custody of your children in the event of you passing away. This is why it is so crucial that you have quality legal representation.

In order to be a custodian or a guardian in the US, you must be a US citizen, of sound mind, without being convicted of any felonies. It is also crucial that you are 18 years of age or older. For instance, a 17 year old could not take custody of a relative.

Duration of Custodianship vs. Guardianship

In short, guardianship can be temporary. For instance, if the parents are still alive but not able to take care of their children at the current time. This could even be kept under review.

If a court grants permanent guardianship or custody then this will usually last until a minor is 18 years old, or there are some situations where it can end early. For instance, if they join the military or get married. Plus, if a court deems that a guardian can no longer carry out their duties and look after the individual in question, guardianship can be terminated.

Guardianship and custody is quite complex, and applies to minors as well as adults who are suffering from a mental illness or handicap in some scenarios. The court proceedings can be complicated and there are plenty of lawyers who specialize in the area and getting what is right for a child. Decisions are made by a judge, even if a parent has outlined who they would like to take care of their children.

How to Make Transitions Between Households Easier for Children

parenting changeovers

Transitions between households after their parents separate requires an adjustment for children. With shared parenting schedules, children no longer see both parents every day. Also, they need to adapt to the new surroundings if either parent moves.

Parenting changeovers, when the children transition from one home to the other, need special care. This is a time when children often feel emotional as they switch between co-parenting homes. But co-parents can smooth these transitions with a few guidelines for parenting changeovers.

Make Transitions Between Households Easier by Letting the Children Know What’s Next

Transitions between households are easier for children when they know what to expect. Parenting changeovers are generally scheduled in advance, so there is no reason to spring the surprise on the kids.

Being aware of a parenting changeover helps a child as they adjust to their new life in two houses. Knowing what to expect lessens anxiety and provides a sense of stability.

Keep children informed of their schedules by reminding them as early in the day as possible. The way you choose to inform them generally depends on how old they are. Most people (parents included) find a large wall calendar works well. For younger children, add stickers to mark parenting changeovers. Older kids and teenagers are likely able to access an electronic copy of the family schedule on their phones. Using the 2houses shared family app helps you keep track and allows older children to check the upcoming schedule directly. The shared family calendar app eliminates the risk of making a mistake by copying the calendar somewhere else.

Be sure to let kids know before any changes, temporary or permanent. But don’t discuss plans with the kids until everything is finalized. Plans being in flux can cause anxiety and feelings of insecurity in children of all ages.

No Luggage

Packing a bag to take between houses can make children feel like they don’t really belong anywhere. Don’t have them drag luggage along as part of parenting changeovers. Do everything you can to help them feel settled in both homes. Packing a suitcase makes things feel temporary. When they have only one set of belonging that they tote back and forth, there is always a danger of forgetting something. Talk about stress! This is even more true for short overnight stays mid-week or frequent transitions between households.

The first thing your child does when they come into your home should not be to unpack as if they are staying at a hotel. Get rid of the luggage, so they don’t feel like a visitor (at either home.) Co-parents can work to create an expectation that the kids have two homes instead of not having even one. So, make sure your children have clothing, toiletries, and other daily items in both houses.

Conflict-Free Parenting Changeovers  

Nothing makes a parenting changeover more stressful for your children than conflict between their parents. It’s unlikely you and your co-parent will always agree. Still, when the children are making transitions between households, it is not time to work things out. Keep those conversations strictly private. Children are hyper-aware of parent emotions, tone, and body language, especially during parenting changeovers. Assume that if they are anywhere around, they can hear you.

Don’t Be Late

Nothing creates conflict during a parenting changeover than one parent being late. And, of course, it becomes impossible to hide your annoyance if they do it frequently. Transitions between two households are now a permanent part of your life for many years.

So, if you are running late, notify your co-parent as soon as you know. Don’t wait until you are already late and end up leaving them to wait for you for another half an hour.

In Summary

Parenting time changeovers take some time to get used to. Work hard to make your children’s transition between households as smooth as possible. Keep the kids informed of the schedule, make both households feel like home, and protect them from co-parenting conflicts. Then you can help your children confidently settle into their new schedules.

How to Teach Your Child to be Independent

Help Your Child Become More Independent

Teaching your child to be independent doesn’t happen by accident. Raising independent kids takes deliberate work and specific encouragement from parents.

Encouraging independence helps children become responsible as adults. Encouraging children to be independent begins early as they start developing their independence.

Help Your Child Become More Independent

Here are some ways to support your child as they become more independent.

Develop and Maintain Routines

Starting from the time your kids are very young, it’s important to begin establishing routines. This is especially important for co-parents when your children move between households. Developing and maintaining regular routines, especially in the morning and at night, allows kids to create positive habits. This helps them perform daily activities more independently at school and in both homes.

Give Children Age-Appropriate Chores

Children love to mimic the adults around them when they are very young, often by “playing house” and pretending to do chores. When children are allowed to help as early as 2 years old, they are often more open to having responsibilities around the house later on. Here are some chores suitable for younger children.

Chores for 2 to 4-Year-Olds

  • Put the Toys in the Bin
  • Sort Laundry by Color 
  • Setting the Table

 Chores for 4 to 6-Year-Olds

  • Getting Ready
  • Help in the Kitchen (Safely)
  • Get a Snack
  • Feed the Dog
  • Water the Plants

It is better if co-parents have similar chores in both households because consistent expectations help children build resistance and independence. Research shows that children given chores early help your child become more independent as an adult.

Praise and Encourage

What for opportunities to praise your child when they accomplish something that demonstrates independence. Kids often get a lot of attention when they break the rules. Praising your child when they do a good job or display positive behaviors is more beneficial to form a foundation for independence.

Let Your Child Have Some Input into the Weekly Schedule

When children are allowed to (age appropriately) organize their own schedules, they learn hands-on about being independent. Give your child a shared family calendar app to add important events. For co-parenting, scheduling is critical, so including your child in the process as early as possible is also important. The 2houses shared calendar app feature lets you keep track of your child’s schedule, all in one place. Ideal on transition days, but also helpful for busy school activities.

Set Priorities

Help your child set priorities to instill a greater sense of independence. As your child gets older, sit down to discuss their interests, needs, and goals. Explain how priorities help a person decide what to do to achieve goals and let them make some age-appropriate decisions. This helps develop a foundation of strong, independent behaviors.

In Summary

Teaching your child to be independent requires deliberate choices from both co-parents. Practice these strategies with as much consistency between your two homes as possible. Start early to instill independence in your child to lead to a more independent, responsible adulthood. The 2houses shared family calendar app helps you and your co-parent support your child’s independence at every age.

Parenting Plans for Teens

Parenting plan for teens

Once your children reach their teen years, many things change, including parenting plans. Whether they are new to having 2houses or their parents have lived apart for many years, kids need a new co-parenting plan when they reach their teen years. At this point in their lives, they can usually take a more active role using a shared family calendar app themselves.

Development Stages that Impact a Co-Parenting Plan for Teens

You remember being a teenager, and you see some of the same changes in your kids. As teens develop a greater sense of their personal identity, they also see their roles in different situations more clearly. This is a natural time to examine the rules and regulations of interacting in society, school, and family and friends.

There is a gradual separation from the family as they develop a stronger sense of self. As teens grow older, they can handle more of their own scheduling for social activities, work, school, extra-curriculars, and other responsibilities. Parents need to provide guidance and support designed to help teens become increasingly more independent. The co-parenting plan needs adjustment to reflect these developmental changes.

Parenting Plans and Schedules Using a Shared Family Calendar App

Creating parenting plans and schedules can seem overwhelming, especially as kids get older and if you have more than one child. Keeping everything together in one place where both parents, and your teens, have access makes scheduling more straightforward and streamlines communication.

Teens are notorious for forgetting deadlines when they are involved in other activities. This normal developmental milestone often sets the stage for conflict with and between co-parents. A shared family calendar app reduces communication breakdowns. It includes everyone in the scheduling process and sets reminders to ensure nothing is forgotten.

Making Co-Parenting Plans More Effective for Teens  

Co-parenting teenagers is a challenge every day. The process of becoming an adult tends to challenge authority, shift priorities, and create new freedoms. Consider these concepts about teenagers.

  • Teenagers use their family as a foundation for support and guidance
  • Teens still need parental oversight and nurturing, even if they sometimes say otherwise
  • Co-parenting plans best allow both parents to be involved in your teen’s life as much as possible.
  • This is a time of exploration. Teens enjoy new and different activities while developing relationships outside the family.
  • Co-parenting plans for teens must remain flexible because activities often conflict with a parent’s time.
  • Teens want greater independence and more control over their schedule. The co-parenting plan should consider your teenager’s preferences. A shared family calendar app gives them a quick way to make their preferences known.
  • Co-parents should do everything they can to create consistent rules for curfews, dating, driving, etc.  

Often teens decide they want to live primarily in one home. Do not take this personally! The reasoning is usually because of their friends and other activities. Schedule time during the week to see both parents and make a point of attending activities to see them more.

In Summary

A teenager’s life gets busy with school, extracurriculars, work, and a blossoming social life. Parents may feel left out as the child goes through the normal developmental stages of becoming more independent. Co-parents may find it hard to spend as much time as they would like with their teens.

So, a shared family calendar app from 2houses helps organize and prioritize your teen’s activities. Streamline communications with your co-parent and include your teen in the process.

Back to School and Family Time in Two Homes

Family Time in Two Homes

Over the past couple of years, kids have been shifting back and forth between in-class time and virtual schooling. These changes are hard on the kids but can be even harder when they juggle family time in two homes. Now that the rules for extra-curricular activities and school functions are different, families need to make specific plans for designated family time.

If you are co-parenting, the scheduling may become more challenging.

If you only have your child half the time and they have a myriad of school activities, you may feel like you are losing touch. As you spend less time together, your bond feels weaker, and you’ll want to do everything you can to support your connection with your child.

Designate Specific Times Using a Shared Family Calendar App

When you spent every day with your child, it was easy to allow for a natural flow of time together to support your relationship. It gets more difficult with less time together and more demands on your child’s time as they get older. Organic time together is scarce. It may feel awkward at first, but soon your underlying relationship takes over, and your time together becomes more natural again.

Use the 2houses shared family calendar app to schedule times for video chats, calls, or short visits when they are with their other parent. The shared calendar app also keeps track of school, family time in two homes, and extra-curricular events, so you never miss a thing!

Communication – The Key to Family Time

Here are some tips for communicating with children of different ages during your scheduled family time. Take the lead to encourage your children to share their thoughts and feelings.

Preschoolers (3 – 6 yrs)

Ask about recent events and ask for details. Try questions like, “Who did you play with at daycare today?” “What games did you play?” “How did you make this art?” Encourage them to talk about both positive and negative feelings and possible causes for their emotions.

School-Aged Children (6 – 12 yrs)

Talk about your school-aged children’s activities, what they like and dislike and their friends. You’re your school-aged children with setting goals and problem-solving. “When will you do your homework since you are going to gymnastics after school?” Discuss strategies and solutions and allow your child the opportunity to muse about possible outcomes. Encourage them to talk about feelings and the possible reasons for the emotions.

Adolescents (12 – 18 yrs)

Remember being a teenager? This is often a difficult time for kids. Adolescents all go through significant social and physical changes. Keep up with your adolescent’s activities and relationships through casual conversation. Be interested. Ask questions gently and respectfully. Provide a balance between an expectation of personal responsibility and offering them consistent support.

Set Aside Family Time to Form and Maintain Strong Relationship Bonds

Designing specific family time using your shared family calendar app facilitates effective communication. This communication is foundational to forming healthy relationships with your children throughout the school year. Parents with joint custody can use several features in the 2houses shared family calendar app to help you and your co-parent plan designated family time in two homes.

When One Parent Talks Badly About the Other – Building Kids’ Resilience in Two Homes

Building Kids’ Resilience in Two Homes

When there is a history of emotional abuse between parents during the marriage, one parent often talks badly about the other after the divorce. This is a continuation of the marriage relationship. The hope is that the parent-child relationships don’t need to suffer. The hope is building kids’ resilience in two homes works more successfully than before.

At the same time, it is critical your children are raised in the awareness that emotional abuse exists. And they need to learn to be resilient in case they end up as recipients of emotional abuse by a parent or anyone in their lives. It is possible to navigate this dilemma without bad-mouthing your co-parent.

One Parent Talks Badly About the Other

It can be really challenging to not retaliate when one parent talks badly about the other. Although you may need to defend yourself against specific attacks when the other parent says things to your children, it is critical you do not retaliate by saying similar things about them.

Emotional harm between parents has negative impacts on you and your children. Of course, make an effort to protect your kids from any exposure to emotional harm. Act as a buffer against the negative consequences, and support them emotionally, so they can become resilient in the face of emotional abuse in whatever form. 

Building Kids’ Resilience in Two Homes

Children react differently to negative situations, so be mindful of how your children respond. Some show clear signs of distress and want to talk to you about it. Others are obviously upset but don’t want to talk to you. Remember, they are stuck in the middle and feel confused about what to do. Getting them some outside help can help them make the transition and build a foundation of greater resilience.

If you face a situation where one parent talks badly about the other, make sure your children get the help they need to understand what is happening and learn to protect themselves from long-term harm. Children need an opportunity to get support from group programs, therapy, or a counselor, so they can talk about their feelings outside of the family. When they discover that others have similar issues, they can talk more freely about their worries. Then they can find ways to become more resilient and make things better. Building your children’s resiliency empowers them to feel in control in difficult situations and helps them find their voice and feel heard.

Decrease Conflict with Better Communication with a Shared Family Calendar App

There may be nothing you can do directly if your ex is saying bad things about you. But you can take some indirect actions. A shared family calendar app provides a buffer for your communication and logistics. You can even have the children use the app to communicate with their other parent. This provides them with some additional protection, too. Consider recommending the 2houses shared family calendar app to your ex for logistical arrangements. This could be the first step to supporting your children as they develop more resilience in two homes.

Custody Exchange and Parenting Schedules – What’s Best for Your Family?

Custody exchange

Custody exchange routines and parenting schedules can be critical to conflict-free co-parenting. And this goes beyond planning which days the kids spend the night with which parent. A family calendar includes every aspect of the children’s lives, like doctor’s and dentist appointments, school events, and holidays. A shared family calendar app can lay a foundation for communication between parents.

Every family is different, but several common parenting schedules support different family lifestyles. You can build any of these into the 2houses shared family calendar app. Let’s look at some options that may work best for your family.

  • Biweekly Co-parenting Schedules
  • 2-2-3 Co-Parenting Routines
  • 2-2-5-5 and 3-3-4-4 Family Routines
  • Non-50/50 Custody Exchange Rotations

Biweekly Co-parenting Schedules

Biweekly Co-parenting Schedules allow your kids to spend an entire week with each parent before moving back to the other parent’s house. This is good for families where the parents live close enough that the kids can easily get to school and best for older kids. It’s ideal in situations where the kids are mobile enough to make the custody exchange themselves (by riding their bikes home to the other parent’s house, for example.) Consider a mid-week visit for dinner or virtual chat with the other parent.

2-2-3 Co-parenting Routines

2-2-3 Co-parenting Routines splits the time with your kids 50/50, with each parent having the kids for a couple of days, then the kids go to be with the other parent for a couple of days. Next, the kids go to the first parent for the 3-day weekend to round out the 7-day week. Then, the routine begins again, flipping the days of the week. This allows parents and kids to spend time together on all the days of the week. So nobody misses Monday soccer practices or ballet classes every week. But it can be challenging to keep track of all the custody exchange days for both kids and parents. A shared family calendar app makes a big difference with an arrangement like this, supporting conflict-free co-parenting.

2-2-5-5 and 3-3-4-4 Family Routines

2-2-5-5 and 3-3-4-4 Family Routines are also 50/50 schedules with more frequent custody exchange days. But unlike a 2-2-3 routine, parents and children spend the same days together every week. So, a 2-2-5-5 routine has the child with one parent Monday and Tuesday, the other parent Wednesday and Thursday. The child either goes back with the first parent for 5 days from Friday to Tuesday or stays with the other parent from Wednesday to Sunday to round out the week.

3-3-4-4 family routines create consistency for children because they are with the same parent on the same days of the week. So, children stay in the same house Monday through Thursday while the weekends are the only variables.

Non-50/50 Custody Exchange Rotations

Parenting time is not always divided evenly. The children live with one parent most of the time, while the other parent visits during the day with some overnights. Every other weekend, with a mid-week visit, is a very common custody exchange schedule. This is often on top of a schedule for alternating holidays.

What are the Best Co-parenting Schedules for Conflict-Free Co-parenting?

Every family is different, so the needs of the children and the lifestyles of each parent combine to create a unique situation. Also, the best co-parenting schedules for preschoolers are likely different from school-aged children and teens. Parents have jobs and other life events that have to be considered, too. 

In Summary

Chances are what co-parenting schedules work best for your family will shift over time. What’s most important is that you and your ex communicate clearly to avoid misunderstandings (and conflict.) The 2houses shared family calendar app is specifically designed for you to work together to benefit the children.

Advice for Conflict-Free Co-Parenting

Conflict-Free Co-Parenting

Parenting was not all that conflict-free before your divorce. But now, with your emotions on the ragged edge, it can be even harder to keep it together, even for the kids. If you know someone who had one of those easy “we both signed the paper and now we’re divorced” divorces, you may have unrealistic expectations for how easy it is to co-parent with your ex. It’s hard. Sometimes it is outrageously hard.

Likely, the issues are much the same as when you were married. Well, you do divorce the same person you were married to, so of course, it’s the same. But it’s different. There’s no more sacrificing and working on your relationship. Now it is ALL about the kids. ALL. Absolutely ALL about the kids.

There’s volumes written about conflict-free co-parenting, and you should probably read them all (in all that free time you have now! Lol) But there are really just a few basics that matter the most.

  1. Communications
  2. Recordkeeping
  3. Involvement

1.     Communications

Who are we kidding? If your communications with your ex were stellar, you’d still be married. So, this is a huge hurdle for most divorced couples. It’s critical to find a way to keep the lines of communication open about all the kids’ events to keep both of you involved. This is especially true with several children. Homework. Extracurricular activities. Playdates. Birthday parties. It is so easy to forget something and end up not communicating the details to both parents.

Check out our blog on 4 Tips for Keeping Good Communication HERE

That’s where 2houses helps. The shared family calendar app keeps track of all communications and events in one easy-to-access place. So, confirm long weekend plans, ask for signed dental insurance forms, or send soccer practice info – all through the 2houses shared family calendar app.

2.     Recordkeeping

One area that frequently crops up as a potential for conflict is recordkeeping. Many organizations have gone digital, so you may only need a few paper originals. The issue is making sure both parents always have access to all the documents. You’ll probably encounter the need for:

  • School and teacher contact information
  • School lunch programs
  • Clothing and shoe sizes
  • Medical bills
  • Reimbursement requests with expense records
  • Permissions slips
  • Insurance information
  • Vaccination records
  • Gift wish lists
  • Phone and address book for your child’s friends  
  • And other info specific to your child and your family

The 2houses co-parenting family calendar app uses an information bank, so you can upload anything for both parents to access anytime. Organize documents by child or category as a personalized, instant online filing system. No more scrambling or negative conversations with your ex. Just check the app for all of the details you both need.

3.     Involvement

It is critical that both parents stay involved in the children’s lives. Once you live in separate households, things change. The latest tech makes it easy to say goodnight by video chat, and a shared family calendar app lets you schedule both parents into activities.

Learn more about Keeping in Touch With Your Child When They are Not Home HERE.

Creating a parenting schedule that both of you can access makes it easier for both parents to attend functions without potential conflict in a discussion. Children can also access the 2houses family calendar, controlled by the parent account. So they can contact both parents without having access to private communications between their parents.

Plus, the photo album lets the children or the other parent upload pictures, so they can still attend virtually if the other parent has to miss the event. This is perfect for birthdays, school functions, vacations and selfies the kids take!

In Conclusion

Conflict-free co-parenting takes work. And the kids are worth the effort! But keep in mind the three most critical factors, communications, recordkeeping, and involvement. Use every tool at your disposal to maintain these, and your co-parenting becomes less stressful for everyone.

Start your FREE 14-Day trial with the 2houses shared family calendar app now, and then see how it can help keep your co-parenting conflict-free.

Effective Money-Saving Tips while Co-Parenting

Money-Saving Tips while coparenting

Parental cohabitation is becoming more common. It’s a great way to reduce child support, save on childcare costs, and maintain a good relationship with your partner.

Raising a child takes a lot of money. When you have two parents contributing, that adds up to thousands of dollars spent each month on diapers, baby food, clothes, and toys. And there’s no guarantee that both parents will take the same approach when it comes to how they raise their kids.

In this article, we will share some money-saving tips and tricks you can use to make the most out of co-parenting. Hopefully, it will help you save some of that cash and have some fun too! When you have two parents who aren’t on the same page, things can get messy. That’s why it’s important to find ways to save money while co-parenting.

Why is it important to have a creative budget when co-parenting?

The most important reason to create a budget is that money management in the long term will result in better financial security for you and your children. You will be able to have a large financial reserve they can use later on.

If you are already in debt, creating a budget is an easy way out of that situation and allows your family to pay for the essential items without blowing all their money on bills.

It will give you a good procedure to follow and focus on your debts, allowing you to know how much money is coming in and where it’s going out.

The growth rate in co-parenting has caused a big burden on many families. The increase of sole custody cases shared parenting plans that are not working out. The lack of good quality daycare options in most communities greatly increases costs for parents who want to raise their children. With all this being said, you can easily see how important your financial resources can become when raising your kids.

15 Effective Money-Saving Tips while Co-Parenting

Here are some money-saving tips to help you maintain a good relationship with your partner while you co-parent.

1. Establish a budget plan with your partner.

Without a proper plan, you are flailing around in the dark when it comes to finances. A budget plan allows both of you to be on the same page about money so that financial and relationship issues won’t arise later on down the road. Working together has benefits for everyone involved. Both of you will be able to work out financial issues in a way that works for everyone.

2. Consider sharing the cost of childcare to save money.

Childcare costs can be a major expense when you have a child. It can be the biggest expense of your entire family budget. If you both work, childcare costs can eat up a large chunk of your monthly budget. It’s important to keep this in mind when you’re thinking about how to save money while co-parenting.

If you both work, you can cut the cost of childcare by finding a way to share its cost and have access to quality childcare. You can also save on childcare costs by sharing the cost of hiring a nanny.

3. Take turns when buying groceries.

It’s great to have a partner who shares the responsibility of buying groceries. But when you’re splitting the groceries, it’s easy to end up with two different food budgets. That can lead to arguments and feelings of resentment.

One way to avoid this is to take turns. The first person to buy groceries should do so for a week. Then, the other person should do the same in the next week.

This works great if you have a budget for groceries and you’re both on the same page about how much you can spend.

4. Cook at home with your partner rather than eating out for every meal.

Many parents take their children out to eat every night for dinner. This can be expensive, especially if you don’t cook for yourself. But cooking at home for every meal can save you a lot of money and time. Not only will you save money, but you can also make sure that you and your child have a healthier diet.

5. Don’t make impulse purchases. Stick to a budget.

It’s easy to spend money when you’re shopping with your child. You might want to buy some new clothes or toys, but make sure that you have a budget in place and check store weekly ads for discounts before you go shopping. If you don’t, you might end up spending a lot of money on things you don’t need.

You don’t want to spend money on something that you don’t need. But, if you do buy something, make sure you don’t spend more than you planned to, especially if you have a joint budget with your partner. It’s harder to track what you have spent if you’re not on the same page.

So, avoid impulse buying. Make a budget and stick to it.

6. Avoid babysitters.

Instead of paying for a sitter, try to arrange your schedules so that you can take turns or together watch the kids. That way, you can make sure that they are getting the attention they need. You can make sure that your child is safe when you’re out of the house besides saving money.

7. Consider selling your old baby gear.

It’s easy to get into the habit of buying baby gear, but you can save money by selling the old ones. You can sell it on eBay, Facebook, or at the local consignment stores.

8. Become a member of your local food co-op.

When you have a baby, you’re probably going to need to buy a lot of baby food. Buying baby food can be expensive. You can save money by becoming a member of your local food co-op and buying a variety of foods that are usually cheaper than the same foods from the grocery store. You’ll also be able to get the food delivered right to your home.

9. Buy food in bulk.

One of the biggest expenses for couples who co-parent is food. This is especially true for couples who travel a lot and try to cut back on costs.

One way to save money on food is to buy it in bulk. If you have a large family, you can buy a large box of cereal, a large jar of peanut butter, and a large bag of carrots. That’s a lot of food for one family, but it will last you for a long time. You can even freeze the food and eat it later.

10. Seek advice from other co-parents.

You don’t have to be alone in the struggle to have a successful family. You can learn a lot from other co-parents.

One way to do this is to find other parents in your area who have children the same age as your child and have the same goals.

You can ask them about how they parent and what they do to make sure their child gets the best start in life.

11. Cut back on your hobbies.

If your child is going to be a movie enthusiast, it might make sense for you to pay for half of their weekly movie tickets. However, if you don’t enjoy watching movies, there’s no point wasting money by purchasing a ticket.

In addition, if one of your hobbies is hiking or reading books on tape, you may find that these activities are not as fun and rewarding. When necessary, you need to compromise to meet other needs like work and child care.

12. Have a garage sale.

One of the best ways to save money is to have a garage sale. You can sell your old baby gear, old clothes, and any other items you don’t need. You can also sell baby items like cribs, strollers, and other paraphernalia. If you don’t have any buyers, you can advertise via Facebook Marketplace or hand-deliver flyers to your local laundromat, daycare centers, and apartment complex hallways.

13. Buy second-hand clothes and toys.

When you have a baby, it’s important to have a lot of baby clothes and toys. Buying new baby clothes and toys can be expensive. You can save money by buying second-hand baby clothes and toys.

If you don’t have the time to go to a second-hand store, you can shop online. You can find tons of websites that sell second-hand clothes and toys. You can also find sites that sell second-hand baby gear.

14. Set up a personal emergency fund.

As a parent, it’s important to have an emergency fund. This will help ease the financial burden if something were to happen, such as losing your job or having car problems.

Depending on your lifestyle, a personal emergency account needs at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses. If your finances are already in poor shape such as debt and wasted money, you might want to start saving immediately. Try saving 5% of every dollar you make until you have a hefty sum saved up before putting too much into accounts with fees, like credit cards that may cause unnecessary expenses if necessary emergencies arise.

15. Have regular financial check-ins with your ex.

Make sure to have regular financial check-ins with your ex. This involves asking your ex to get a current assessment of his or her financial situation. Here, you can discuss the following:

1) Do they have enough saved up money?

As you know well, college tuition is expensive. Your child’s education is a very important investment for their future, and parents should be prudent about the financial resources spent on their children’s education. You both want them to have a great life and be able to get the best education possible.

Therefore, it’s important to set up regular financial check-ins with your ex, so they know not just what they’re spending now but also how much is needed for your child’s education such as college tuition costs.

2) Do they still owe any debts?

If your ex owed some debt before getting back together or if you had to pay some debts during your relationship, the two of you must determine whether any disability was involved. Don’t let emotions get in the way when talking about money with your ex. Do keep in mind there are many

5 Easy Ways for Solo Parents to Save Money after Divorce

Save money after divorce

Being a single parent is stressful even when you don’t have to worry about money and budgeting at all times. In order for your child to thrive, you need to make sure they have all their essential needs covered, which all costs money. From new sneakers to school supplies, every month is its own challenge. Therefore, to get the most out of the little you have, you need to be smart about your spending. Here are some tips for single parents that will help them save money in the long run!

Create a budget for the month

A budget may seem like a waste of time if you’re already struggling to make ends meet. Regardless of your income, though, setting up a budget is critical. When it comes to creating a budget, all you really need is a plan for spending. This way, having a budget allows you to take control of your money rather than just react to events as they occur. Create a budget for the following month after tracking your previous expenses. Include all of your fixed costs, such as rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, and insurance premiums, and set spending restrictions for those areas. You may be left with some leeway. In an ideal world, you’ll be able to save some money immediately, even if it’s only a modest amount.

Be thrifty

Since no one can receive everything for free, staying on top of coupons and top deals is the most one can hope for. If your child hasn’t been brainwashed by big brand marketing yet, look for bargains at your local car boot and charity stores. For deals, you should also visit Facebook’s marketplace and other online second-hand sites. Another way to save money by being thrifty is by using a car share service. You don’t have to spend money on your own gas and you may also meet some new people along the way! Who knows, maybe they’re also single parents who can give you some great advice!

Automate fixed expenses

Single parenthood can be a challenge, particularly when costs keep piling up. Having the essential utilities automatically paid is one method to help you budget. No matter if you have a lot of debt or it’s all paid off, you’re sure to benefit from automated payments. Because you’ll never see the excess money that should go to utilities in your account, you’ll never be able to spend it. This is also a great way to avoid late penalties and not spend time worrying about them. When you’re a single parent, it might be hard to keep up with everything, so even little things can be a great way to alleviate the stress.

Bulk buy for groceries

Saving money as a single parent can be done if you do a huge monthly grocery haul. Bulk buying your food can be a great way to get more for less. Whenever feasible, go with the value store since it’s much cheaper and basically the same thing. Store-brand items can cost you half the price of a brand name. Who wouldn’t be excited about that?! If you’ve been living week to week, bulk purchasing might be a challenge at first, but it becomes simpler as you save more money.

Parenting is a hard ordeal in its own right, but when you have to be thrifty at all times, it can be even tougher. The key thing is to think about your monthly expenses and plan accordingly, taking into account the essential utilities you need to pay. Also, make sure to get free things and bulk buy groceries every chance you get. Buy second-hand as often as you can. If your kid is young, they may not even notice the difference!