Can I get custody of my child if I travel frequently for work?

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2024 | Child Custody

Divorce is a tough road for anyone going through it, especially when the couple has children. Today, we’ll talk about a common query from parents whose jobs require them to travel.

On the one hand, one would think that the court should understand that parents have to make a living, right? At the same time, how does the court consider a parent’s recurrent absence, even if it is for work?

The answer to custody is not always straightforward and it truly varies from case to case. However, there is information you can have to understand what the court is looking at and what they prioritize.

Best interests of the children

First, it is critical to understand that the court’s priority when evaluating custody matters is the best interests of the child. This means the court will consider various factors to determine where the child should live.

A parent’s frequent travel schedule may certainly be taken into account, but it is not necessarily a deal-breaker. The question the court seeks to answer is what the most beneficial arrangement for the kids is.

Frequent traveling

One of the primary concerns for the court will be the stability and consistency of the children’s living situation. If a parent’s travels would disrupt the child’s routine significantly or result in prolonged periods when the parent is absent, the court may have reservations about awarding that parent sole custody.

A parent who travels frequently should be prepared to show the court what their plans are for when they are away. Do they have a close family member, like a grandparent, who has an established relationship with the child and would care for them in their absence?

Would the child have to leave their home every time the parent has to travel, or would their caregiver come and stay with them? These questions are critical because the court is looking for stability for the child and if the parent does not have a plan, it may become a problem.

It is important to note that even if you do not have sole custody, you can still share custody with the other parent.

Alternative custody arrangements

The court may look at alternative custody arrangements that consider the parents’ needs because, after all, they have to make a living to care for their children, while still prioritizing the child’s well-being.

This ensures that the children have regular contact with both parents and maintain a sense of stability in their lives, which children need to thrive.

Parents who genuinely want custody of their child so they can be a part of their child’s day-to-day life should demonstrate commitment to actively participating in the child’s upbringing despite the parent’s busy schedule. This could include:

  • Make the most of the time you get with your children.
  • Remaining actively involved in the children’s education and extracurricular activities.
  • Actively communicating with the other parent, teachers, medical doctors if the child gets sick, and anything else that shows active engagement.

As stated above, having a reliable network in place can strengthen a parent’s case for custody. For example, having the help of family members, close friends or childcare professionals who know the child and have an established relationship with them can impact custody decisions.

The court will assess all circumstances to determine whether a custody request is in alignment with the best interests of the child. While a parent’s frequent travel may present challenges, there are ways to overcome them.

It is always a good idea to seek advice from a family law professional who knows the ins and outs of child custody, can guide parents and can give them information specific to their case considering their individual circumstances, which is ultimately what the court will base its decision on.