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Business Travel and Child Custody

November 23, 2023
Advice, Co-Parenting
Business Travel and Child Custody

Business travel never rebounded after the pandemic, and it likely never will. In 2020, employers learned to keep costs low and achievements high without pricey business trips. They started relying on web-based technologies to get the jobs done. Nonetheless, business travel remains a part of life for many parents.

Can your company travel schedule impact your child custody terms?

Yes, it can. Not only will it impact when you have custody of your child, but it can influence how much time a judge decides you have a right to spend with your child.

Let’s dive into the details.

Joint Custody Preferred

Barring any abuse, spending time with both parents is typically in the children’s best interests. Most judges award both parents some form of joint custody during divorce proceedings. Sometimes, parents can amicably come up with their own mix of custody time with the kids without taking their case to court.

Impacts on Custody

Typically, both parents achieve joint custody of minor children unless that arrangement seems detrimental to the child. So, courts assume ex-spouses will share custody even if one or both travel for work.

Sometimes, the court is in charge of determining the specifics of a parenting plan and custody sharing. They’ll consider many factors to determine the child’s best interest in these situations. Some factors include:

  • How parents plan to divide child-rearing responsibilities after divorce
  • The extent to which third-party caregivers will be involved (grandparents, babysitters, daycare providers)
  • The length of time the child has lived in a safe and acceptable environment and the value of maintaining that for continuity
  • How far apart co-parents will live from each other
  • The needs of school-age children and the estimated amount of time and money required to travel for custody exchanges
  • A parent’s demonstrated knowledge of their child (includes daily activities, friends, teachers, medical care providers, and favorite things)
  • The parent’s perceived ability to provide a consistent routine for the child (discipline and schedules for homework, meals, and bedtime)
  • Parenting tasks customarily performed by each parent and the division of parental responsibilities, including what and how often third parties assumed parenting responsibilities
  • A parent’s record of participation and involvement in the child’s school and extracurricular activities and their anticipated ability for participation in the future

Courts will consider the above factors and many more. Plus, they’ll determine how much a parent’s travel schedule could impact all elements.

Shifting Responsibilities

Business trips have impacted the family dynamic and schedule from the beginning. Whenever one parent is away, the other has to take on some responsibilities from the absent parent in addition to their usual duties.

Work-related travel is particularly tough on divorcing couples. Co-parents manage their households differently than married couples. Being in two separate homes and across many miles makes communication and planning more challenging.

One co-parent’s travel (not to mention heavy workloads or irregular work) makes it particularly difficult to split time with their kids perfectly in half with their co-parent. Putting any percentage or fraction down in writing can be impossible when you can’t predict your schedule.

How to Enjoy More Time With Your Child

The thought of losing quality custody time with a child over work-related travel can be scary for the business-traveling co-parent.

A co-parent in this situation will want to gather as much information as possible to show courts the true quantity and quality of time they can dedicate to raising their children. Consider collecting proof on the following:

  • Your involvement in your child’s life, such as messaging when away from each other and showing up at school or extracurricular activities
  • Your ability to decline or delay business travel when it’s your custody time
  • Character witnesses to back your claim that you’re highly involved in your child’s life

Talk to a trusted legal advisor to help you gather, document, and present the necessary information. Speak with your employer about your situation and suggest ways to help you maintain your output for the company while having a healthy participation in raising your child.

The Perfect Tools for the Traveling Co-parent

Co-parents must plan ahead and communicate effectively to ensure their children are well taken care of in the other’s absence. Parent custody apps can greatly improve communication surrounding custody matters.

In addition, apps that facilitate communication and schedule planning help parents design the custody schedule that best fits their unique working conditions.

Additionally, an app can help busy parents with varying schedules keep track of their agreed-upon agendas and custody duties.

Just as businesses have cut down on expensive and time-consuming business trips by using technology to connect people, you too can use technology to help you cut the amount of time it takes you to complete lengthy co-parenting duties.

Research and download a few apps for divorced parents. From sharing schedules to tracking expenses and paying child support, co-parent apps help you get the important, tedious, administrative stuff out of the way so that you can enjoy more quality time with your kids.

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