When you work many long hours, you may think that it will be impossible for you to have any respectable amount of custody of your children. Realistically, the courts like for parents to split custody as evenly as they can, because they recognize that children need both parents in their lives. Unfortunately, with such a busy schedule, you may not have the time to spend half your week with your child.
Even if you can’t split custody 50-50, you still have a right to seek as much custody as possible. So, for example, if you work four ten-hour shifts from Monday through Thursday, it’s reasonable to ask that you have custody on Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday. Exactly how much time you get on those days may depend on the other parent’s schedule as well as your child’s activities and other needs.
Put your kids first when making custody decisions
It is important to put your children first when you’re making custody decisions. While it would be nice to be able to have your child with you more often than not, is that reasonable with your schedule? You need to look realistically at your work schedule as well as their needs to determine if 50-50 shared custody is possible. If not, what is realistic for you? One day a week? Two? Work this out before talking to the other parent about the custody schedule that you think would be best.
Some parents with busy schedules opt to get some additional custody hours in by doing short weekday visits or virtual visits. These may be additional options for you if you’re very busy at work or need to be away from home for a business trip.
Custody has evolved, so a solution is possible
The world is always changing, and with more families having both parents working, this kind of situation comes up often. Busy workers can still be excellent parents, but you do need to sit down to work out what kind of schedule is best for you and your children. Committing to a custody schedule you can’t keep up with could harm your custody rights in the future, so consider opting into a schedule that you know you can meet and then adding additional time when possible.