Many Illinois parents handle both childrearing and career-furthering obligations. It is not unusual for both mothers and fathers to work outside the home while the children are at school or daycare. Of course, now that you are getting a divorce, you may worry that your work schedule will negatively affect your child custody outcomes.
While these concerns are valid, you may want to keep in mind that the minds of judges across the country are becoming more open to the fact that both parents typically have jobs and other obligations beyond just childrearing. As a result, before you begin to think that your career will get in the way of obtaining custody of your children, you may want to first explore your options.
Putting your best foot forward
Understandably, you likely do not want to feel pressured to give up either your job or your time with your children. However, when it comes to making child custody decisions, you need to look at your situation realistically. True, judges may be more willing to involve a grandparent or other relative in your children’s routine if you need said person to pick up the kids from school, but that does not necessarily mean that you should fight for sole or primary custody if you know you cannot handle it.
Instead, look at your situation as logically as possible. Some tips for doing so include the following:
- Show the court what you are capable of as a parent and how you intend to address any child-related issues that you may not be able to handle because of work, such as how you intend to have a grandparent watch them after school if you cannot.
- Hold yourself to the same childcare standards that you intend the other parent to keep.
- Keep your children at the forefront of your decisions, which may mean allowing the other parent to have time with the kids when you know that you will not be available.
- Consider not fighting for more time with the kids if you know work and other obligations will actually keep you from them.
- Remember that the court must keep your children’s best interests in mind and is not out to get you as a working parent.
It can certainly feel as if you have to choose between your children or your job at times, but remembering that the other parent will likely continue to have a role in your kids’ lives may make custody decisions easier. If you have concerns, gaining information on your legal rights and options as a parent may be useful.