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Work and custody: Get more time with your kids

There are situations in which neither parent is going to have the time to provide care for their child after a divorce. Instead of a two-parent system where one parent might work part-time or the parents may have schedules that don't conflict, divorced parents often find themselves working similar hours or days. If there's no way around that, it can mean that the children need care from a third party.

In situations where a child can't be in their mother or father's care, the next option is to turn to family, a day care or professional caregiver. Some parents dislike the idea of losing custody time to a caregiver, but when neither parent can take time away from work, it may be the only option.

What can you do to maximize your time with your child when you work a full-time job?

You should look at your custody schedule closely and confirm when you have your child. Then, if possible, you can talk to your employer or clients about adjusting your schedule with them. For example, if you currently work from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., you may not see your child much due to them being in school. Switching to a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule could help you see them more in the evenings.

If that's not a possibility, you may want to ask for a modification of custody to better suit your work schedule. If the other parent has a more flexible schedule, this might be appropriate to ask for, since they could adjust to your schedule more easily.

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