All states, including Rhode Island, recognize that quality time spent with each parent benefits the children of divorce. As such, courts strive to create or approve a plan that gives children ample contact with both parents.
Most family court judges rely on a legal principle known as the “best interests of the child” to guide them during divorce. While your actual job may matter little in their decisions, its possible effects on your capacity to care for the child may play a role, especially if you’re seeking sole custody.
Frequent or lengthy travel
Parents who must travel often for work or spend lengthy periods away from home may have more trouble gaining sole custody rights. The court will determine if your frequent or long-term absences compromise your child’s well-being before they issue a custody order.
Your travel requirements may affect your rights less if you show you are the best candidate for sole custody. Demonstrating that you have a dedicated support network of family and friends to lean on might help alleviate the court’s concerns.
Unstable home environment
Another thing the judge will look at is whether your employment interferes with your ability to provide a stable home environment. For example, working the graveyard shift and taking your kids to childcare at midnight may affect the stability of the child’s home.
If you work odd hours, do what you can to minimize your schedule’s impact on the kids. For example, try to arrange childcare in your home to avoid disrupting your children’s routine or schedule.
Legal guidance can be an unexpected source of support and inspiration for parents seeking solutions for complex child-related issues. It can also help you understand the best interests of the child principle and possibly leverage it in your favor.