Many parents contemplating divorce worry that a change in their marital circumstances will hurt the relationship with their children. Especially for parents who have not been primary caregivers thus far, the idea of impending divorce may cause concern about the custody schedule.
Some of the more demanding careers might include hospitality management, which could require third-shift work, or medicine, which might mean 12-hour shifts and days spent on-call. When you have a demanding work schedule, will that mean that the family courts will deny shared custody of your children?
The courts assume shared custody is better
There is a presumption that children will do better after divorce if both of their parents have time with them. Unless there are situations that make a judge reconsider what is best for the children, both parents can expect to have parenting time or shared custody.
The kinds of issues that would make a judge reconsider shared custody would include a history of domestic violence or substance abuse. A judge will likely scoff at claims that a demanding job would completely prevent you from being able to parent. There is, in fact, some evidence to the contrary. Parents who work night shifts often have greater availability to show up for their children when necessary.
A parenting schedule can accommodate your work
One reason people assume that their work schedules will hurt their custody cases is that they think all shared custody arrangements are the same. In reality, you can split your parenting time in many different ways that will actually work around your schedule. If you negotiate with your ex outside of court for a custody arrangement, you have more flexibility to mutually agree on a schedule that takes your work schedule into consideration.
You have every right to want to play an active role in the lives of your children, regardless of your work schedule. Learning about the factors that influence this issue can help you feel more confident about claiming your place in your children’s lives.