As a parent who frequently travels for work, you have probably always done your best to spend quality time with your child whenever you are home. Now that you and your spouse are divorcing, you may worry that because your spouse has always been there for your child, he or she will have a better chance of getting custody.
Fortunately, if you and your spouse can agree on a schedule, a judge is likely to approve it as is. Here are some factors to consider before you head into custody negotiations with the other parent.
It is in your child's best interests to spend time with you
The California court system always evaluates what parenting plan will be in the best interests of the child. This typically involves ensuring the child has ample time with each parent to maintain a healthy parent-child bond. Therefore, it is not unreasonable for you to expect the other parent to want what is best for your child when it comes to the custody schedule.
Both parents will need to be flexible
Your spouse may not be as willing to accommodate your schedule if you come to the table demanding he or she rearrange everything for you. Approach the situation ready to compromise wherever you can to make it easier for the other parent to cooperate without feeling as if you are treating him or her unfairly.
Your child needs consistency
If your travel is at regular intervals, that may make it fairly easy to set a schedule. However, random, frequent trips may make a set parenting plan difficult to maintain. Because routine and consistency are so important for children, particularly when they are young, you may have to concede to a 70/30 plan, where the other parent has the child 70 percent of the time and you have 30 percent. Often, this type of schedule allows one parent to have more time during the summer, or during other breaks.
The schedule can include virtual visits
Even when you are gone during a time when you would normally have your child with you, you can still spend time with your child. Include a clause in the parenting plan stating that when your child is with your spouse while you are out of town, you can spend time with your child through a face-to-face chat program or phone call. Physical distance and a difficult schedule do not have to limit your parenting time.