When it comes to parents and work schedules, not everyone works a traditional 9 to 5 job. This can be a challenge when it comes to determining a visitation schedule. If you or your former spouse have a unique work schedule, there are a few things you can do to ensure your children are cared for and have access to both parents. Here are just a few things to discuss with your family law attorney when negotiating a parenting schedule.
If one parent works evenings and the other works during the day, you may want to work out a schedule that allows the daytime job-holder to care for the children at night. This gives both parents the opportunity to work and provide for the children. The parent who works at night can have the children on evenings off of work to ensure there is time for dinner and bedtime at least two nights per week. If you will have the children during most evenings but will not have full custody, make sure that the number of nights you will have the children is stipulated in the divorce agreement.
12- And 24-Hour Shifts
Some parents in the healthcare industry or who work as first responders may have 12-hour shifts or 24-hour on-call shifts. This type of schedule can make it difficult to determine visitation, as the days worked each week may be subject to change. Instead of setting specific days each week, you can arrange to have the work schedule for each month submitted in advance so you and your spouse can arrange visitation days. The parent not working the 12- or 24-hour shifts can have right of first refusal for visitation on those days, which means the other parent can't hire a babysitter, nanny or other caregiver without offering visitation first. Your family law attorney can walk you through different ways to work out schedules that change from month to month.
Parents who work weekends can miss out on the opportunity to spend weekends with their children. This is especially true for noncustodial parents who work on the weekends. Instead of not having custody of the children at all on those days, you can arrange for the parent working weekends to have the children at night on the weekends and help with school pickup and drop-off on his or her days off during the week.
There are many different ways you can ensure you and your spouse get to spend plenty of time with your children. Talk to your family law attorney like those at Kalamarides & Lambert about these options, and consider other creative ways to share custody, such as video calls, texting and email. By working together and coming up with creative custody arrangements, you can preserve the family dynamic even after a divorce.