Traveling a lot for work can put incredible strain on spouses and parents. Frequent travel could be an arrangement that you feel you can’t or do not want to change, so it can be crucial to know how it might affect you if you divorce and must discuss the issue of child custody and visitation.
Limiting parenting time
When parents split in Washington, they or the courts will decide on parenting plans and visitation. These determine where a child lives and what responsibilities each parent will have.
Generally, parenting arrangements that maximize each parent’s time with a child best protect a child’s emotional growth and physical care. These arrangements allow them to maintain meaningful relationships and stability after parental divorce.
If you travel a lot for work, it will almost certainly affect these arrangements. If you are gone a lot, the other parent may have a larger balance of parenting time because it could be logistically impossible for you to spend as much time with your children.
Creative, non-standard schedules
Many parents will utilize a standard week-on, week-off schedule or shift parenting time between weekends and weekdays. If your trips are often lengthy or irregular, these schedules may not be realistic.
Thus, you may need to be more creative with your parenting plan. In some cases, you and your ex could schedule your parenting time around your traveling time or vice versa.
You could also consider other less-traditional solutions, like having your child travel with you during the summer.
The importance of being flexible
Numerous studies say that children benefit significantly from having stability after their parents’ divorce. As parents, being flexible can be a critical component in this stability.
Cooperation and communication will be essential for flexibility to be effective. You can do this by agreeing to work together and make adjustments when necessary for the benefit of your children. Respectful and open discussions between parents are also imperative.
You might also talk to your employer and see if there is any flexibility with your travel schedule. Could you work remotely or consolidate trips? Could you limit trips to a specific week every month?
Parenting when you travel a lot can be challenging. However, with these strategies, it can be easier for you to get a satisfactory parenting plan in place.