Parenting plan accommodation language for shift workers

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Parenting plan accommodation language for shift workers

Unread postby HaltAndCatchFire » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:06 pm

GA, S11, S7. In-home separation for seven months with no temporary orders. Discovery served by each of us six months ago. Second round of voluntary mediation scheduled next week.

I’d appreciate feedback on proposed parenting time language. My STBX is a clinician and has been unemployed for eight months. She has an employment offer working 7P-7:30A three days a week, but will only accept the offer once a parenting plan is signed that accommodates her work schedule. In preparation for next week’s mediation, I had my attorney writeup the parenting plan (we verbally agreed to 50/50 during first round of mediation). My attorney stated the language below is typical for clinicians and pilots, whose sporadic work schedules vary month to month.

Two questions:

1. Is it common for judges to order a custodial schedule that accommodates shift workers? In Georgia, one of the 17 best interest of the child custody elements is the following: Each parent's employment schedule and the related flexibility or limitations, if any, of a parent to care for the child.

2. Are there any hidden gotchas or unintended consequences with the language around her work schedule? My concerns:

a. If she ends up working non-contiguous days each week (like Monday, Wednesday and Friday), that would be an insane number of exchanges for the children.

b. My STBX is disorganized and does not communicate well. Getting her work schedule in advance when we weren’t going through a divorce was like squeezing blood from a stone. I know I will not receive her work schedule 30 days in advance, so I expect to write monthly R3 letters.

Below is the writeup so far:

The parties agree that Mother and Father shall share physical custody of the Minor Children. The parents shall be designated as Joint Physical Custodians of the Minor Children. The parties shall be entitled to parenting time with the Minor Children at any time as is mutually agreeable to the parties. In the event the parties do not otherwise agree, then the following schedule shall control the exercise of the parties’ parenting time concerning the Minor Children:

Following Mother’s relocation from the former marital residence the parties will follow the parenting schedule stated below:

WEEKDAY PARENTING TIME:
The parties shall exchange parenting time with the minor child every Monday from the time school is dismissed, or 3:00 p.m. if school is not in session, and the parent receiving parenting shall exercise his/her parenting time with the Minor Children until the following Monday until school is dismissed, or 3:00 p.m. if school is not in session. The parties shall rotate their respective parenting time with the Minor Children on a Weekly basis with the exchanges taking place on Monday afternoons as described above.

Mother shall provide Father with her proposed work schedule thirty (30) days before the schedule is to take place. In the event the Mother receives her work schedule less than thirty (30) days before the schedule is to take place, then the Mother shall provide the Father with her work schedule as soon as possible after she receives notification of her upcoming work schedule. The parties understand that communication of Mother’s proposed work schedule is vital to ensuring that the Minor Children have proper supervision during the Mother’s parenting time.
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Re: Parenting plan accommodation language for shift workers

Unread postby Outis » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:18 pm

Why do you think she can't manage to ensure the kids have adequate supervision on her time?
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Re: Parenting plan accommodation language for shift workers

Unread postby Campfire » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:36 am

Why can't she (or you) have parenting time on work days? Married families with dual incomes do this commonly.
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Re: Parenting plan accommodation language for shift workers

Unread postby HaltAndCatchFire » Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:39 pm

She has verbally expressed that I will parent the children during her work time (which I'm totally prepared and happy to do). However, she's expecting a reciprocal number of parenting days to offset that time. I'm on board with reciprocal time (I encourage my kids to have a relationship with their mother), but the practical nature of her schedule means our intended 7/7 custodial schedule would turn into exchanging the kids every day if her shift schedule is Mon/Wed/Fri. She has no control over which days of the week she is scheduled, or whether or not they are contiguous. 14 exchanges in a two week period is completely insane to me. That's the kind of schedule warranted for a newborn/very young child, not school aged children.
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Re: Parenting plan accommodation language for shift workers

Unread postby afc » Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:42 pm

Seriously?

If you live decently close to each other, it's not the big problem you think it is.

"The kids NEED a routine" is frequently cited to keep dads away from kids and it's bs
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Re: Parenting plan accommodation language for shift workers

Unread postby HaltAndCatchFire » Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:49 pm

So exchanging children every day has no negative effects on them at their ages? If that's true, then that's awesome and I'm worrying about something I shouldn't be. I'll move on to addressing other stipulations. I appreciate the reality check. Sometimes it's difficult to think objectively when you're so close to the situation.

I have no idea where she will be living, as she's said she can't afford the same town we live in. I'm keeping the premarital home with a geographic restriction.
Last edited by HaltAndCatchFire on Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Parenting plan accommodation language for shift workers

Unread postby Fatheroffour » Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:51 pm

They'll take their cues from the parents. If the parents are good with it and supportive of it , in all likelihood the kids will adjust just fine.
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Re: Parenting plan accommodation language for shift workers

Unread postby HaltAndCatchFire » Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:55 pm

Thanks for the reassurance Fo4. I'm ready to parent my kids at any time, even if it is a dizzying schedule. I'll be setting up calendars for the kids so they can easily keep track.
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Re: Parenting plan accommodation language for shift workers

Unread postby a dad » Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:01 pm

Your stated orders read like 7/7 with her supplying her work schedule.

What exactly is in the orders that go beyond her supplying her schedule? What exactly do they say about changing away from 7/7 and under what circumstances?

If nothing, then that last paragraph doesn't do anything. It's just for show so you should stay quiet and let it be.
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Re: Parenting plan accommodation language for shift workers

Unread postby HaltAndCatchFire » Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:26 pm

I posted the entirety of the proposed orders for physical custody and parenting time, except for the holiday language which is standard alternating each year.

If OC agrees to the proposed wording, I'm not going to say anything. In the event OC sees that it lacks teeth and will amend it according to what I've outlined (as we discussed 3 months ago in mediation), I wanted a sanity check. I've never seen an example parenting plan stipulation about how shift workers are accommodated, so I don't know what's normal vs. outlier.
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