When you’re a police officer, custody requires special thought

On Behalf of The Law Offices of Ronda A. Middleton |

As a police officer, your job is to serve and protect. However, your primary concern now is your child. As a parent going through a divorce, there is a risk that you could lose a good portion of custody with your child if you’re unable to care for them due to the requirements of your job or other responsibilities.

Being a police officer is much like any other job that requires people to be on-call and to work scheduled hours. In emergencies, the police can be called into work, even if they had planned to be off work that day.

How can being a police officer impact your custody rights?

In general, the fact that you’re a police officer won’t affect your rights. What will affect your rights is how often you’re able to take care of your child and the plans you’re able to put into place to protect your child if you have to leave the home suddenly.

For example, if you have a custody schedule that is shared 50-50 with your ex-spouse, you may still have to account for days where you’re called in or have to work an on-call shift. In those cases, you need to be able to show that your child will be cared for, even if you have to leave your home and head to the job.

You might have a neighbor willing to watch your child or a daycare facility that can watch your child while you’re at work. Whatever the plan is, you need to make sure your attorney and the judge know how it will work and that it’s in the best interests of your child.

Busy parents often have fewer custodial hours, because they can’t be there for their children as often or with confidence. That might mean that you can only have your child in your custody on days when you’re guaranteed not to work while they’re young, since they can’t stay at home alone.

Depending on the age of your child or children, you may not have to worry about being on-call or having to leave for work. Older kids, like teenagers, can stay home alone with no major problems so long as there is someone they can call for help if they need it. However, when children are young, they need stability and may not be left alone, so that’s something to consider when you build your parenting plan and custody schedule in Fullerton.

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