Blue-collar workers often have physically demanding jobs that require that they perform difficult tasks over and over. The amount of work they need to perform can fluctuate drastically based on demand and their industry on any given day.

It is common for industrial facilities and factories to require workers to put in mandatory overtime when demand is unusually high. Working late into the evening or even needing to work on Saturday or Sunday can absolutely have an impact on a parent’s ability to be there for their children.

If you are a blue-collar worker facing divorce, the demands of your career can impact how you approach custody issues.

If the situation demands flexibility, you want to work with your ex

Fully shared custody usually means having a portion of the legal and physical custody of your children. Legal custody involves decision-making authority, while physical custody involves actually being present and providing care for the needs of your kids.

Although it would be difficult for a job to be so demanding that it would prevent you from weighing in on issues regarding the legal custody of your children, physical custody can be more difficult when your job is unpredictable.

You probably can’t commit to having specific patterns to your parenting time, as you never know when your work will keep you late or want you there on the weekend. Because of that, you want to be able to work with your ex to adjust and change your parenting time as work obligations arise. Keeping things amicable is usually the best way to do that.

Your kids need your presence as much as they need financial support

Being able to provide for the financial and practical needs of children is important to many parents. Don’t let the desire to give your kids the best life possible overshadow this fact: Being a part of their life will matter more to them in the long term then whether or not they had name brand shoes for school.

While divorce can be expensive and you may choose to throw yourself into your work as a way of processing the emotions that come with the end of a marriage, you still need to commit yourself to making time for your kids. If you have to cancel visitation or parenting time because of work obligations, do your best to reschedule and make sure the kids know that they are a priority for you.