If your marriage looks like it may be ending, you may wonder if the legal system will punish you for your business schedule and limit your time with your children. Divorce is a challenge, but California law has hopeful news for you, your spouse and especially your children. Good sense and fairness will play a role in what’s to come.
Business travel is hard on a marriage
The professional life for a frequent flyer is often unpredictable and stressful and can contribute to a marriage’s breakup.
The spouse at home may shoulder most of the child care and other responsibilities, while the traveling spouse usually faces unique travel and business stresses and may feel like a “third wheel” at home. Often, neither feels the other really understands. Both often face loneliness and its temptations.
Even if you bring in most of the income, you may feel at fault as the one jetting off.
The child’s interests come first and last
The good news and the challenge are that your child’s interests are everything to the court. Whatever you or your spouse want will be put to that test.
All factors contributing to the child’s interests can be considered, so no complete list or priority set is possible. Certainly, the history of each parent’s travel schedule is fair game. Other factors often include:
- The age and gender of the child and their own preferences about custody.
- The physical, emotional and mental health or any special needs of the child and the parents, and how well each parent can attend to them.
- Other children or extended family that may somehow matter to custody decisions.
- The child’s needs for stability and continuity, including issues related to school and community, including religious or cultural considerations.
- Any drug or alcohol abuse, child abuse of any kind, and any history of domestic violence.
Custody, visitation and schedule can be modified
Custody is not set in stone, nor are the schedules of your parenting plan. If your schedule changes or you have new evidence to show what you’re capable of contributing, you can file a request for modification. Again, that modification must be in the child’s best interests.
It’s usually best to consider a modification after developing a long-standing change affecting your relationship with your child.
Change your ways for modifications
Be nice. Staying amicable with your former spouse can lead to mutual agreements that are better for the child and more likely to be accepted by the court.
See and be seen. Drive your kid to school and activities, and stay to commune with parents, teachers, program directors, counselors or coaches. Those relationships might be interesting to the court someday.
No matter what strategies you consider, feeling more positive, connected and informed as early as possible in the divorce process may help ease your mind and yield better results for you and your children.