In making any determination of custody, a court should look at the respective work schedules of the parties. The respective work schedules of the parties can form a basis for a determination of residential custody as well as the basis for the final parenting schedule.
In this analysis, the court also should look at a parenting schedule from the perspective of the child. For example, a proposed weekday routine that would have required waking the child very early in the morning to accommodate the parent’s work schedule may not be in the best interests of the child.
A court also should consider which parent could provide more direct care to the child based upon his or her work schedule. Custody options which allow for the direct care and guidance of children by a parent rather than by third parties are preferred by courts.
When a parent’s work schedule allows him or her to spend prolonged periods of time with the child frequently this is a preferable arrangement.
A court also should consider if a parent can adjust his or her work schedule to allow more personal care of the child. In one recent case, the court awarded custody to the employed father rather than the unemployed mother based upon, inter alia, the father limiting his work hours and adjusting his schedule so he could personally care for his children.