Courts make custody rulings in the best interest of the children. The term “best interests” is broad, and it encompasses many aspects of life. Courts want to be sure the kids are getting the best care. This not only includes meeting their immediate needs, but it also involves their schooling, healthcare, social lives, and more.
Everyone who works knows how much their job impacts the rest of their lives. Most immediately, it eats up at least 8 hours a day, not including a commute, lunch break, and so on.
Your schedule directly affects your parenting, and it is probably based on your work. Here are some aspects of your job schedule that the court must consider in a child custody decision.
Your Time at Home
Parenting involves more than making sure the kids are fed and clothed. They need to spend time with you, and you have lessons for them that they can’t learn in school.
If your job schedule affects your time at home with the kids, the court will take notice. Let’s say you work nights, making it difficult to see the kids after they get home from school. Perhaps you can get up with them in the morning, but that’s only to make sure they are fed and out the door for school.
A strict judge could mark this lifestyle against you, favoring the other parent for primary custody.
Your Involvement with the Kids’ Education
Schooling doesn’t begin and end in the classroom. Kids have homework, and parents are expected to help them through it. Parents also help kids with organization, remembering due dates, and so on.
Moreover, parents should be available for teacher conferences, phone calls, and so on. If you have a rigid schedule that keeps you from being involved with the kids’ learning, the court will take notice.
Your Involvement with the Kids’ Healthcare
If your child has special needs or chronic illnesses, you’re going to need a flexible schedule to help them. They need frequent doctor visits, and you must be able to regularly make it out to pharmacies.
A job with an unwavering schedule could prevent your ability to be involved. Meeting your kids’ health needs may be an insurmountable task, and it could affect your level of custody.
Your Ability to Accommodate the Kids’ Social Lives
Eventually, all kids hit an age that can become awkward for parents. They grow old enough to have their own friends and interests, separate from their parents. However, they don’t have the means to go to a friend’s house or an extracurricular activity on their own.
Parents are in a constant state of service to their children. Courts often assume that active social lives are healthy, and if your job schedule impedes that lifestyle, this could be held against you.
Work with a Good Attorney
We don’t wish to be dour or pessimistic with this article. Our intention is to simply inform you of the challenges your work schedule could impose on child custody. The situations above are not insurmountable, and they are not the only aspects a court considers in a custody decision.
A good lawyer can help the court see your strengths as a parent can far outweigh any scheduling concerns. Work closely with your attorney on a plan for childcare that you can present to the court.
Our firm is here to help you negotiate a fair child custody agreement in court or one-on-one with your spouse. For a free consultation, contact Nelson, Taylor & Associates, PLLC online, or call us at (801) 901-7046.