Q: In a 50/50 custody situation, do judges take into consideration jobs of a parent where work travel is unpredictable?
I travel 8 days per month, but they are always a different 8 days. I don't want to lose any of my 15 days with my kids. Will a judge allow us to develop a schedule on a month to month basis that accommodates this as long as it is perceived as fair to the other parent? I'm not a pilot, but what would they do for a pilot. I hope we will get there via mediation, but if not and I have to go to the courts, will the judge understand this ? I'm being very accommodating and my husband works from home so has no valid reason not to work with me on this. He will always get his 15 days but I want to make sure I get mine to. I don't want to forfeit a day if I have to travel on "my" day. I am virtually the sole bread winner and support the kids 100% too. If I had to pull back on my job for fear of losing days with my kids, this would affect their life style and his child support payment.
A: Although family law courtrooms are very crowded, especially this time of year, Judges for the most part do strive to create workable schedules for working people with minor children. You're right that you need to keep working and supporting your children and you should not miss out because of your owning up to your responsibilities. I have seen them very cleverly craft child support orders for noncustodial parents who earn overtime so that the custodial parent receives a large amount of child support every month after the overtime is worked. In the same fashion, a schedule could be created to reflect the changes based on your changing travel schedule. It would be easier in mediation but parents don't always agree. If it is made clear enough to the judge and a solution is presented, then the Court will likely adopt such a solution. The key to going to court in any case is being prepared. Go in with a plan. Make it easy for the Court to adopt the plan as the most fair and easy solution even over the other parent's objections. To do that you will most likely need an attorney's representation. I say that not because I'm a lawyer wanting client, but because not everyone can draft documents that point to such a solution to your problem and also represent themselves well in court and speak well and judges often do not take parties impropria person, representing themselves, seriously. They will take you serious if you have an attorney, at least if the attorney is well prepared and providing a workable solution
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