When you don’t have a traditional work schedule, you might not be sure how you’ll manage your custody schedule. On one hand, you should not be prevented from seeing your child. On the other, you need to be sure that you can be there for them if they are left in your care, even if you suddenly have to go to work.
This is a common issues for people who work as emergency medical personnel, firefighters, doctors and in other on-call and flexible roles. It’s true that creating a schedule that works for someone without a traditional 9-to-5 schedule isn’t as simple as it is when one or both parents have a traditional schedule, but it’s not impossible.
Custody planning with a nontraditional schedule
What can a parent with a nontraditional schedule do to make it easier to create a custody schedule? The first thing is to figure out which days or times are absolute in their schedule. For example, although an emergency worker’s schedule might be somewhat unpredictable from Monday through Friday, they might still have weekends off. Start by looking at those weekends as a time where custody can be handled normally.
Another thing to do is to quickly look into child care with flexibility. If you’re working and are on-call during your day with custody, who will watch your child if you suddenly have to go in to work? Is there a neighbor or family member nearby who can come to your home and stay until you get home? Can you hire a babysitter? Any of these options may allow you to create a more regular custody schedule that will adapt when you need to go to work unexpectedly.