Working third shift can pay more, but it can also put a lot of strain on someone’s relationships. When someone find themselves facing divorce and worried about their options for sharing custody of their children, that third shift schedule may complicate things.
Some parents who work night shifts even think that they will not be able to ask for custody because of their unusual daily schedule. How can someone who works third shift still show up for their children and secure a fair amount of parenting time?
They can create a customized schedule
When the other parent is supportive and understands how important the presence of the third-shift worker actually is for the children, the family can put together a parenting schedule that makes it easy for someone who works third shift to spend time with the children. Maybe they pick the kids up after breakfast, which is roughly when they get out of work, and take them to school every day. Maybe they take the kids every weekend and for extended breaks whenever there is a vacation from school because they can plan ahead to take time off of work. If both parents work with one another, it is usually possible to create a schedule that maximizes someone’s presence for the children without completely disrupting their work/sleep schedule.
They can consider making changes
Even if it might mean a change in pay or moving to a different location to work, some parents worried about sharing custody on a third-shift schedule will benefit from changing their work arrangements so that they can be present during the day for their children. Such drastic shifts may be necessary when the other parent is uncooperative or when there are other factors already putting stress on the co-parenting relationship. Employers may be cooperative when they know someone wants to retain their job but also needs to show up for their children.
They can rely on modern communication systems
There will be times when a family schedule will make it hard for one parent to see their children as much as they would like. Having a habit of communicating via text message, email or video chat can help parents remain actively involved with their children even when they cannot physically show up on a daily basis because of scheduling challenges.
So long as a parent wants to remain involved with their children, they will almost always be ways to work out a solution, regardless of their work schedule. Being flexible about how to structure a co-parenting plan may improve a parent’s chances of having the best possible relationship with their children in a shared custody scenario.