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How Can Your Work Schedule Affect Child Custody?

Child custody decisions are all based on the best interests of the children. Therefore, even the most minor aspects of life are relevant.

Many factors play into custody rulings. Everything from a parent’s income, location, or even neighborhood makes a difference.

Here are some ways that a job schedule can impact a child custody ruling.

Work Schedules and Schooling

From a young age, children are trained to adapt to a standard, five-day-a-week, 9-to-5 work schedule. Their actual hours are different, but the routine is the same. They get up early, get ready for the day, put in their hours at school, and come home in the late afternoon.

These days, adult schedules vary wildly from that traditional pattern. People work from home, sometimes spending their days running errands and working late into the night. Many also have shifts that begin in the evening.

If your work schedule doesn’t accommodate a child’s school schedule, you’re going to have a hard time parenting. It may be difficult to even see your children regularly. Courts are going to consider this in a custody ruling, especially since you are transitioning into single parenthood.

Work Schedules and Health Concerns

Even the healthiest children need a lot of time and attention. This fact is doubly true if the child has chronic illnesses or special needs.

Kids with unique health problems need regular access to their physicians. This requires your ability to take them to and from these appointments. Furthermore, you must spend time consulting with doctors, filling prescriptions, gathering medical supplies, researching different medical conditions, and so on.

Your work schedule had a dramatic, pragmatic impact on your child’s life. Time is a resource, and if you don’t have enough to meet your child’s needs, the court will take notice.

Work Schedules and Your Child’s Routine

Your child has a life outside the home, such as school or healthcare needs, but they also require structure within the home.

Whether fair or not, judges usually believe kids should have a stable dinner time, bedtime, and so on. They’re going to scrutinize your lifestyle down to the smallest details. If they believe that your work schedule will imbalance the children’s lives, they will rule accordingly.

Work Schedules and Weekends

In many custody rulings, it’s common for one parent to get the kids on the weekends. This schedule works for many people but not for everyone. A bartender, for example, may depend on the income that weekend crowds bring.

Once more, you must consider how a court will view your lifestyle. It must look at your life in an objective, non-judgmental way. Something as simple as working on weekends or doing deadline-related work will impact your ability to keep the kids for an extended period.

Work Schedules and Fair Custody Agreements

When it comes to custody rulings, courts are in a tough position. They are most concerned with a child’s welfare. However, they also recognize a parent’s need to see their children.

If you have a crazy work schedule, you must work with a skilled attorney to help create and argue for a fair custody agreement. You should expect to make some sacrifices for the good of the children, but you should also stand up for your right to have the kids when you can. It’s difficult to achieve a good balance in this situation. A good attorney can help negotiate a parenting plan that works for everyone.

Also, remember that you have other options. Visitation, for example, is not the same as custody, but it is a good way to spend time with the kids. You can even include electronic communication in your visitation schedule, such as phone calls and video chats. Legally, these visits are just as valid as physical ones, and the other parent cannot block them.

Our firm can help with parenting plans and child custody negotiations, working with your unique challenges. For a free consultation, call us today at (951) 779-1610 or contact us online.