When a marriage ends, the parenting plan is the blueprint to the future family structure. And the structure, i.e. shared parenting time between households, is all about the schedule. Whether it’s every other weekend, every Wednesday night or even three days on and four days off, parenting agreements usually revolve around the traditional 5 day work week. Spring, summer and winter breaks are divvied up based on specific calendar dates while holidays typically alternate every year.
But what about the parent who doesn’t work the traditional 9-5 Monday through Friday? The parent who works a shift schedule of 24 hours on duty every 3 days? Or 3rd shifters with rolling “weekends”? Parents who don’t have the luxury of a set work schedule often lose out when it comes to time with their children. Or, they have to give up overtime or extra shifts because the parenting plan doesn’t accommodate their unconventional work week. Moreover, these parenting plans tend to be vague and ambiguous often leaving too much grey area for the parties to interpret on their own for years to come.
The growing trend in State Legislatures is to implement laws requiring balanced shared parenting plans and guaranteed percentages of time for each parent. While Georgia law remains based on the general “best interest of the child” standard, the aim is to provide children the maximum quality time with both parents. Nontraditional work hours shouldn’t require a parent give up family time or extra work merely because their schedule is confusing or misunderstood. It’s critical for an attorney in these situations to take the time to understand the nontraditional schedule and craft a creative, concrete parenting plan. A parenting plan which works for both parties and the children now and well into the future.
For more information on nontraditional parenting plans and which one might be right for your family, please contact The Snyder Adams Law Firm, LLC.