Father's rights: Getting custody when you work

As a father to young children, one of your most significant concerns about your divorce is that you won't get as much time to bond as you'd like. You work a full-time job, and that won't change just because you are separating from your wife.

Your situation is not unusual. Many fathers go through the same problem, wondering if they can still seek custody even though they have full-time jobs. The truth is that you generally can seek your fair share of custody. Your children need you as much as they need their other parent. 

Doing what's best for your children

The main thing the courts want to see is that you have the best interests of your children at heart. The judge doesn't want to see you fighting for custody only to place your children in a babysitter's care 90 percent of the time. Likewise, the court doesn't want to see you have no time with your children just because you have a busy work schedule.

What can you do to help your case?

To start with, you need to be reasonable. You should know your work schedule and be able to explain it and how it could benefit your children. For example, if you work 9 to 5 every day, you could still take your children to school at 8 a.m. and be home for dinner each day. In the few hours between when you could get home and their release from school, you could invest in extracurricular or learning programs to help your children do better in school or focus on a hobby. Showing positive intent is often a good way to make a fine impression on a judge.

Another thing to do is to be realistic. If you honestly cannot be there for your children in the mornings on Monday through Friday, perhaps it would be a good idea to have them stay with the other parent through the week. Likewise, if you can be there in the morning but not at night, creating a schedule that addresses that arrangement could help show your good intentions and that you want what is best for your children.

It is important to remember that every custody case is different. Reaching out for legal guidance can help working fathers with learning what steps they can take to address the custody issues unique to their case.

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