Going through a divorce is often a difficult process. Knowing that your life will change significantly can be emotionally taxing. Discerning how assets and property will be divided can be frustrating. Figuring out how you will be able to spend quality time with your children following a divorce can complicate the process even more.
Historically, parents who stay at home or have less demanding careers will request more parenting time in court. This is because they have always spent more time with their children. However, higher-earning parents with more demanding careers have just as much right to spend time with their children if they are willing to make the needed adjustments to be as involved as they possibly can be.
According to an article in Forbes, there are ways to facilitate quality time with your children while juggling your career. Here's how.
Make your children a priority
When negotiating joint custody with your spouse and the court, you must first be honest about how you will meet the needs of your children.
For example, if you commit to weekday overnights, these are some questions you may want to ask yourself:
- Can I help them get ready for school in the morning?
- Can I pack their lunch and ensure that they have their homework?
- Can I arrive home early enough to help my children with school work?
- Can I provide dinner and oversee bedtime routines?
- What will I do when my children have days off from school (including snow days)?
- Can I be contacted at work if my children get sick at school? Will I be able to leave work to pick them up early?
Be careful not to ask for more time than you can handle. If you're not sure if you can commit to certain days or weeknights due to your work schedule, it's best to bring that up during your negotiation.
If you're not able to leave work early enough to pick up your children from school, you may be able to involve a non-parent caretaker into your children's routine. This can include a close relative, a friend, or a paid caretaker who you can arrange to pick your children up from school and watch over them until you arrive home.
Create flexibility in your career
Employers and companies may be flexible when it comes to accommodating your parental needs. If you need more flexibility in your schedule, it's best to discuss that with your supervisor.
If you discuss changes to your schedule well in advance, they may be able to find someone to cover for you.
Today, many employers are supportive of work-life balance and the family needs of employees. Your children don't necessarily have to be sick for you to request a day off or leave early. For example, if one of your children is performing in a school play, you should be able to attend.
Show that you can do what's in the best interest of your children
When negotiating child custody, the court wants to know how well-invested you are in your children. This doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice your career and financial independence or be a stay-at-home parent. Judges will base their decisions on how well a parent can provide for his or her children. Judges also consider how supportive they are in their children's routines, activities, and endeavors.
If you are going through a divorce with children involved, it's best to discuss your matter with an experienced family lawyer at Courtney Clark Law P.C., based in Belleville, Illinois.
Our legal team understands how the Illinois laws regarding child custody work. For nearly two decades, we have advocated for parents facing divorce in Belleville and the surrounding communities.
To find out how we can help you through these difficult times, contact us online to schedule a free case consultation.