Could My Travel Schedule Affect My Child Custody Arrangement?
Many people are required to travel for work. While this may not be a significant issue when a couple is married, the amount and duration of that travel can end up becoming an important concern for separated parents in terms of child custody arrangements. Having a thorough understanding of the statutory guidelines that are used in determining a custody arrangement can help give parents an idea of the effect that a travel schedule could have on their own ability to see their child. This is, however, a complicated issue, so it is also important for parents who find themselves in this situation to consult with an experienced Fort Lauderdale child visitation and time-sharing lawyer to discuss their specific case.
Factors Used to Determine Parenting Time
Under Florida law, courts presume that joint custody is usually in a child’s best interests. The form that joint custody takes, however, will vary depending on the circumstances of the case. One parent’s work-heavy schedule, for instance, can play an important role in how time with a child is actually divided between two parents, as courts are directed to take this into consideration, as well as:
- The extent to which parental responsibilities will be delegated to third parties;
- Each parent’s capacity to provide the child with a consistent routine and daily schedule; and
- The parenting tasks customarily performed by each parent prior to and during litigation.
The way in which travel impacts these factors can have important repercussions on how two parents divide parenting time upon divorce.
How Work-Related Travel Could Affect a Judge’s Decision
A parent’s travel schedule can have significant bearing on these factors. Having to travel extensively during the week, for instance, could mean that the majority of childcare fell on one parent during the course of the marriage. Upon separation, this could become problematic when two spouses no longer live together, as the traveling parent may now need to delegate many childcare activities to third parties, like other family members, babysitters, and daycare providers. If a parent travels for long increments of time, or takes trips on a sporadic basis, on the other hand, a court could determine that the stability of a single home with the other parent would be better for a child’s development.
Providing evidence of involvement in a child’s life when not traveling is still important to the development of a parenting plan, so parties should be prepared to show attendance at school functions and extracurricular activities. Evidence of electronic communication while on trips can also help demonstrate consistent involvement in a child’s life, even when traveling. A parent can also agree to delay certain trips, or decline travel when he or she has custody of the child in an effort to obtain more equal parenting time.
An Experienced Visitation and Time-Sharing Lawyer
If you are required to travel for work and are concerned about how that could affect your child custody arrangement, contact dedicated child custody attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. for help. You can set up a free consultation with a member of our legal team by calling 954-945-7591 today.