Whether you’re a peace officer, the executive of a big company, the owner of a fledgling startup that’s just beginning to thrive or a doctor with a growing practice, you know that your career takes a lot of your energy and attention. The work doesn’t always fit neatly into a regular 9-to-5 schedule.
That means that, for you, issues surrounding your children after a divorce come with additional challenges. Your career — along with the long hours that you keep at work — can become an issue when custody and visitation of your children are being decided. By the very nature of your position, there are some questions you need to answer:
- Is shared custody even something you want? If your spouse has been the children’s primary caretaker all along, that may not have to change simply because you’re getting divorced. It’s okay to acknowledge that your work schedule makes it easier for you to have visitation on weekends and holidays only.
- Can you care for the children properly if you get custody? If you do want shared or full custody of the kids, be prepared to explain how you’re going to make sure that your work schedule doesn’t interfere with their care. Who will get them ready for school? Who will greet them when they get home? Will you be there at night?
- Do you have backup plans when there’s a crisis? If an emergency happens and you’re called in to work, who do you have “on-call” to take over watching the children? How reliable are they? How familiar are the children with them?
Remember: Custody decisions in Illinois are always made with the best interests of the children in mind, but parents are generally free to come up with any reasonable agreement that best meets their family’s needs. Your family law attorney can help you find a good solution.