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Balancing custody rights and career

Divorce changes many parts of parents' lives. It can include how they balance their work and home life. For some, it means that they start handling some after-school pick-ups and other activities. For others, it is a matter of returning to outside employment to better support themselves and provide for their family.

Breadwinners can still get equal time

The dynamic during the marriage may have been for one parent to handle much of the hands-on childcare while the other focused on earning income. However, breadwinners or those who earn more income need not be punished for their professional success by getting less parenting time. If the parent wants a balanced parenting schedule, they likely can get it if they share custody.

Determining the right amount of time

Parents need to consider different factors when they negotiate their parenting plan:

  1. Children’s needs: The needs of the children always come first in resolving disputes during a divorce. Both parents need to recognize and understand what is best for the children.
  2. Work demands: Some parents do not have jobs with flexibility, nor may it be realistic for them to work less to meet a 50-50 split.
  3. Help may be necessary: Some parents are in a position to hire a caregiver to help manage the children’s routine, perhaps from pick-up at school to dinner time. Some courts are more open to the option of reliable childcare as long as parents are home at a reasonable time to spend time with the children.
  4. Ask for flexibility: Many employers have become more flexible scheduling in-office hours as long as the parent meets production goals and deadlines. Rather than sneak out, parents should arrange specific departure times on certain days ahead of time, which co-workers will often happily accommodate.
  5. Same rules apply: Optimum co-parenting involves cooperation, and some give and take. In the interest of fairness, parents should regard the other’s time as equal in importance to their own when it comes to work emergencies and other issues.

Find a solution that works for all

An experienced Board-certified Family Law specialist expert attorney in Collin County, Dallas County, Denton County Midland County, Ector County, and surrounding areas of Texas can help clients determine a plan that best balances the demands of work with a new home life as a single parent. These can also be adjusted as circumstances change with the needs of the children or a new job.    

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