Can My Work Schedule Affect Child Custody Arrangements?

Child custody is a top priority for divorcing parents. Deciding how much time each parent will spend with their children can be hard, and work schedules play an important role. If both parents work traditional work shifts, there is less free time to share, but less common working hours can complicate things even further.

When courts rule for joint custody arrangements, parents may have to outline how much time they each spend with the children. It is usually preferred for the children to spend most of their time under a parent’s care instead of a caregiver. It is also important to maintain open communication once these plans are set in place.

Non-Traditional Work Schedules

Those who work in the medical field, police officers, firefighters, retail employees, and many other occupations often find themselves working night shifts, during the weekend, and other irregular hours. In some cases, courts will make the parent with set hours the custodial parents. This does not mean that the non-custodial parent with irregular hours will have restricted parenting time. Work schedules, distance between the parents’ homes, and the children’s ages are all taken into consideration.

Parenting Time Guidelines

To design a parenting schedule that best benefits the children, parents must be ready to work together. When parents know their work hours ahead of time, they can create a parenting schedule to reflect it. When there is no advance notice, it is important to be flexible. Sometimes, parents must create several custody schedules, and these can change when work schedules fluctuate. Keeping track of how many hours or days can be useful in these situations. If one parent must work on a holiday, this time can be made up later.

Allowing the children to stay overnight with the non-custodial parent on a weeknight can work, as long as the children get to school and extra-curricular events on time. The options of having the children stay with one parent for several days can also suffice if the parents do not live close to one another.

Flexibility and Consistency

Erratic work schedules can make it hard to keep consistent parenting schedules, and this is where flexibility comes in. Keeping in mind that the children’s best interests come first, divorced parents can try to negotiate parenting schedules that make everyone happy. If this goal cannot be achieved and problems arise, the best course of action may be to contact a well-versed child custody lawyer.

Woodbridge Child Custody Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Help Clients Create Effective Parenting Plans

Your children should not have to suffer if you and your ex-spouse cannot agree on a reasonable parenting time schedule. For a free case evaluation, contact the experienced Woodbridge child custody lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Complete our online form or call us at 908-575-9777 for a free consultation today. Located in Somerville and Morristown, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Somerset, Woodbridge, Morristown, Parsippany, Rockaway, Short Hills, Chatham, Randolph, Madison, and Morris Plains.
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