When working parents in California divorce, the challenges of child custody and visitation can be not only emotional but also practical. Many divorcing parents are concerned about the potential for losing their close relationship with the children, especially when they no longer share a home on a daily basis. However, divorcing parents can develop a number of options and plans to help the children continue to benefit from a bond with both of their parents while accommodating work schedules and other commitments.
Child custody options can be different for every family following a divorce. In some cases, one parent has primary custody of the children and the other parent has visitation time. One of the most common visitation schedules involves the children staying with their non-custodial parent every other weekend, beginning on Friday evening and ending on Sunday evening. This schedule can work well for parents with a Monday-to-Friday workweek and accommodates most children’s school schedules as well.
However, every family is different. Some parents work swing or overnight shifts, and others have weekend hours while their weekdays are free. In these cases, developing an alternate child custody and visitation schedule can be in the best interests of both the parents and the children. The schedule can be altered in a range of ways: Visitation time could be scheduled for several weekdays rather than a weekend, or additional nights could be added during the week.
Because child custody issues can be some of the most sensitive aspects of a divorce, many family courts urge divorcing parents and their lawyers to develop a negotiated agreement and a parenting plan. A family law attorney may work with a divorcing parent to advocate for their relationship with their children and work to achieve a fair settlement for child custody, spousal support and asset division.