How can I balance my custody rights with my career?

If you have a minor child and are going through a divorce in New Jersey, custody is a major issue during this process. You might worry that the court could hold your career against you when determining custody arrangements between you and your former spouse, especially if your ex has a less time-consuming profession. 

Here is some information from Forbes about how you can obtain the best custody determination with your demanding career. 

Prioritize your child

When deciding child custody arrangements, the court is going to give precedence to the best interests of your child. It is vital that you spend time thinking about how you can help accomplish this goal. Often, parents are so focused on gaining an advantage over their former spouse that they may stop considering the most ideal conditions for their child. 

Spend some time contemplating how you can best support your son or daughter in terms of maintaining stability for him or her. Try to picture what his or her daily life with you would look like and how you might balance your job obligations with situations such as: 

  • Handling unexpected days off like sick days or snow days 
  • Preparing meals including school lunches 
  • Helping him or her get ready for school in the morning 
  • Assisting with schoolwork including homework and test preparation 

By anticipating different scenarios and figuring out the best way to manage them, you demonstrate your willingness to put your child first. 

Make realistic commitments

Although you may want to spend as much time as possible with your child, it is important to be honest with yourself about whether this is a viable plan. You do not need to spend the exact amount of time with your son or daughter as his or her other parent to have a bonded, deep relationship. It is more important to spend quality time that you do have than to make promises you cannot keep. 

For example, you may want to spend the same number of nights each month with your child as your ex, but this might not be feasible based upon your work obligations. If you travel frequently or find yourself working late multiple nights each week, committing to too many days and not being able to keep this commitment brings stress to both you and your child. Should you need a babysitter or nanny to assist with child care, hire someone who is dependable and responsible for those gap hours and arrive home from work at a reasonable hour. Try to work out some flexibility with your employer so that you and your child can spend worthy time together on your custodial days while you still devote the necessary attention to your career.