How do you manage being “on-call” when you have custody of the kids?

| May 24, 2021 | Family |

Are you ever “on-call” as part of your career? You know that you have to be ready to respond, but you’re not actively working. If you get that call, though, you can’t delay and you must hurry to work. 

For instance, many on-call workers are first responders and doctors. You can’t predict when your services are going to be needed — but, if they are, you know it’s an emergency. Unfortunately, when you’re a parent on your own after a divorce, this can make custody complicated. 

The potential impact of an unpredictable work schedule on custody arrangements

If you have custody of your children after a divorce, an on-call job can make things more complicated. Most parents create a custody schedule that allows them to work and spend time with their kids, but they know exactly when they’ll have to work. You don’t. You may stay at home all night with your child, playing board games and watching movies, and never get called. Or you may get that important call at a critical moment and need to respond. 

It’s important for you and your ex to discuss this. Being on call should not impact your custody rights or your ability to see your kids, but it may make it more complicated. You need a plan for when the call comes. Will your ex be willing to pick up the children? Do you need someone else, such as a grandparent, who can help? Or do you want to create a custody schedule that deliberately avoids your on-call shifts — even though you may stay home the entire time? 

A customized custody and parenting plan can make life easier for everyone

These are all important questions to ask as you look into the legal steps needed to create your parenting plan. Working with an experienced attorney can help you uncover all of the options — including many that you may have overlooked.