Should you change your child's custody schedule due to work?

As a parent, one of the most frustrating things to deal with is a major change in your schedule at work. It is particularly hard to manage when you're also divorced and have to juggle your custody schedule.

The thing to remember is that major changes in your work schedule may make it necessary to seek a post-divorce modification of your custody schedule. You and your ex-spouse may be on good terms and able to renegotiate the terms of your custody schedule. If you aren't, then you can petition the court for help.

When should you consider changing your custody schedule?

With any major change in your job that alters the times when you can be home, you may want to switch up your custody schedule officially. For example, if you used to work from Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and watched your child on alternate days but now work from Wednesday through Saturday, there are going to be at least two days where your schedule will conflict with your old custody arrangements.

If your ex-spouse's schedule has not changed, you will both need to sit down and discuss when each of you is available to watch your child and if you need to consider hiring a third party such as a daycare service, babysitter or nanny.

Whether or not you change your custody schedule through the court may depend on how long this change will last. If it's permanent, it's worth discussing what should happen with your ex-spouse and child (if your child is old enough to have an opinion).

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