Entrepreneurs typically work long hours each day to build their business. Even after they build a successful business, some business owners may have less predictable work schedules because of the type of business they operate. For any parent, working odd hours, including working nights and weekends, can mean spending less time with the person’s children. However, when you are trying to negotiate child custody and time-sharing agreement in a divorce, working odd hours can be an additional disadvantage for you.
If you are facing a custody battle and your work schedule does not provide as much structure and stability as your spouse, you may have an uphill battle. You may want to consult with an Illinois child custody lawyer as soon as possible to discuss ways that you can fight for parenting time with your children even though you have odd work hours.
You may need to prioritize your schedule if you want to obtain custody of your children or equal parenting time with your children. Children usually thrive from set routines and stability. However, quality counts more than quantity when spending time with your children.
If your work hours do not allow you to spend as much time with your children as you want, make the most of the time you do spend with your children. Focus on quality time with your children. If possible, avoid moving out of the marital home until you and your spouse have finalized a custody and parenting agreement.
You may need to be creative when developing a parenting plan that takes into consideration your work schedule. Many parenting plans share time with parents by having the children switch homes every other week. In other cases, a parent has the children every other weekend and one night during the week. However, there is not a perfect standard visitation schedule. Each family is different; therefore, a parenting plan should be tailored to the family’s special needs.
For example, a tailor-made parenting plan may allow you to have more time with your children during your off-season months than your peak business times. During peak business times, you may arrange visitation that allows you to take advantage of time with your children before and after your work schedule. For instance, if the busiest part of your day is noon until late evening, you may want to arrange to take your children to daycare or school each day during peak business months. By transporting your children to school or daycare, you can eat breakfast with your children and spend time talking about their day.
In any custody arrangement, the guiding factor is the best interest of the children. A judge is not likely to grant you majority parenting time or 50/50 parenting time if your work schedule prevents you from committing to a workable parenting schedule.
However, if you and your spouse can work together in the best interest of your children to develop a plan that is tailored to your family, a judge is likely to approve the plan unless it is clearly not in the best interest of your children. Parents who can compromise and brainstorm about solutions to difficult custody issues such as odd work schedules maximize the benefits to their children of both parents being active participants in their lives.
If you have a difficult custody issue that you are struggling to resolve, contact the Illinois child custody lawyers at the Goodman Law Firm today to review potential options for settling the matter in the best interest of all parties.
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