A parent's responsibility is to meet the needs of their child, both psychologically and financially. For parents striving towards the latter, working to earn a wage is a requirement. However, for parents seeking full custody of their children, the very hard work that they are doing to help their child is sometimes viewed negatively by the courts.
If you have a demanding work schedule, you need to learn how this factor might affect your quest for custody and how you can handle the situation.
Children need their parents to play an active role in their lives. A parent must be able to spend sufficient time with the child to meet their developmental needs. Parents that have scheduling conflicts that prevent them from spending quality time with their children face an uphill battle.
Children with parents that actively engage with them on a regular basis have higher levels of self-esteem, get better grades in school, and are less likely to get in trouble, all of which are positive factors the courts want to see a child attain. For the best interest of the child, the courts will place a child in an environment where they can flourish, which may not be with you if you are constantly at work.
An open line of communication can help when there is a scheduling conflict. The court has wide-reaching abilities when it comes to custody arrangements, but the goal is only to intervene when parents can't reach their own agreement.
If you and the other parent can sit down together and create a plan that works around your schedule, provided the agreement serves the best interest of the child, the court should accept. For example, if you work 12-hour days, three days a week, you could agree to keep the child on your days off, and the child would stay with the other parent on the days you work.
Your willingness to create a compromising schedule is better than losing any chance of custody of the child.
A solid plan for your child can go a long way when a grueling work schedule may impact the amount of time you have to spend with your child. For example, consider a parent who works from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm who is seeking full custody. Also, assume the child gets out of school every day at 3:30 pm.
If the parent can arrange for the child to participate in nurturing activities, such as gymnastics or martial arts until they get off from work, the court may take a more favorable view opposed to a situation where the child would stay home alone until the parent returns from work.
You should place your child's needs above everything else. Any person facing a scheduling conflict should sit down and reassess their commitments and make changes where possible. While this does not mean you should quit your job, you should consider any opportunities to change to a more favorable schedule.
For example, if you prefer working the night shift, but there is an opening for the day shift, the change is likely worth it if it provides you the opportunity to be home when your child arrives from school. The courts will view your flexibility and commitment to your child favorably.
Child custody is a matter that the court takes very seriously, as who a child spends their time with will have long-term and significant consequences. Take the appropriate steps to improve your chance of success.
To further advance your efforts, contact Flowers Law Firm. At our law office, we will sit down with you to discuss your situation to help you plan the best path forward.