As a parent, you want to be there for your children and to see them as much as you can. With a two-parent household, it was easier for you to see them even when you had to work, because you could be there are much or as little of the time as possible and still know someone was there to protect them.
Now, you’re in a difficult position. If you take custody of your children, there are days when you will be on call. You’ll have to go into work if you’re called, and there may not be another person available to care for them. As a surgeon, EMT, firefighter, police officer or other person who has a job with on-call hours, this can be a devastating blow to your custody case.
When you work on-call hours, you have to consider alternatives
When you can’t pin down your schedule, you will need to consider alternatives that allow you to spend time with your children while still fulfilling your work-related obligations. For example, would it be possible to hire an in-house nanny who lives with you and is available during your on-call shifts? Then, if your children are staying with you, the nanny would already be there if you had to leave suddenly. If you end up not being called in, that’s even better, since you’ll get more time with your kids.
Another option may be to have a neighbor or family member nearby who is willing to watch your children. You could also look into daycares or play areas offered by your employer so that your child can be safely monitored at your place of work while you’re doing your job.
It can be hard to navigate custody issues when you have an irregular schedule, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get to see your children. You do an important job, and needing to be there in emergencies doesn’t mean that you don’t care about your child’s wellbeing. It’s worth looking into alternative options for daycare or babysitting, so that you can set up a regular custody schedule with confidence.