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Child Custody and Shift Work

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  • Child Custody and Shift Work

    I am a LEO candidate so close to being hired I can taste it. I am divorced with 2 children, one of which is 5 yrs. old, and I have residential custody of her with a joint parenting plan. Sparing you the details of the messy separation, I'll say that my ex-husband has done anything and everything he possibly can to "get back at me" for leaving. I informed him of my candidacy, and he immediately threatened to take me to court for custody of our daughter based on the fact that I will be working shifts and requiring a sitter.
    Don't get me wrong - I would not be so against this if his intentions were good and true. He is a master manipulator, and so good at saying the right things at the right time it's retarded. If anyone actually paid attention to his actions, they'd see right through him.
    So my question is has anyone ever been through a similar situation or know of one? Can you tell me about it? What did the shift worker (LEO or otherwise) have to go through, and what was the outcome? I've racked my brain and come up with 2 options: Resign my candidacy or call his bluff, see it through, and quit later on in the event this actually goes to court. I refuse to lose custody of my daughter, but this is killing me because I want this career so bad. Any insight or other options you can offer is much appreciated.

  • #2
    If you truly wish to be an LEO, stick with it. I have learned that there is never a perfect time to do anything, and you just have to go for it while the opportunity presents itself. I don't know how custody is determined in KS, but here in Alaska each party starts with 50% custody unless the other party can prove why it should be different. What does your parenting agreement say about custody when one parent is at work? Yes, I have been through a similar situation, working swings while my ex was deployed for a year overseas. I found a good babysitter and paid her well. I assume your ex also works, what do you do with the kids while he's at work? Many manipulators get especially aggressive when you exercise more control over your life instead of giving them the control. I have seen that situation in a couple of my employees. If you really want to be an LEO, call his bluff and do what's good for you. It will be good for the kids too to see you independent and more self-confident.

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    • #3
      In my area contested custody is determined based on the best interest of the child.

      Judges normally have pretty fine tuned BS meters and make their decisions based of facts.

      Over the years I have worked with HUNDREDS of single parents of children of all ages. That also being on every shift -------

      A single parent is really at no more disadvantage than a 2 job "normal" family.
      Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

      My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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      • #4
        Kansas is big on "first preference" of parents, which means it is always in the best interest of the child to be with a parent than a caregiver. Which means there is a very good chance I would lose this case. Even if I am assigned an overnight shift, because my daughter would be with a caregiver for an extended period of time in which her father was available. In my mind the overnight shift is my 1st preference, because I'd be working while the kids are sleeping, can sleep while they are in school, and would otherwise be wide open to spend the rest of my time with them. He works a regular 8-5, just like I do currently.
        You hit it on the head with the "aggressive when you exercise more control" statement. That is exactly what I continue to deal with since separating. I love your enthusiasm, I do want this BAD. It just scares the heck out of me to think I would be putting my relationship with my daughter on the line.
        Devil's advocate: So say I call his bluff, he follows through, and at the last hour I realize I could lose and so I resign from whatever position I have obtained with the PD. I am then jobless, broke (attorney fees), and still without my dream. How do I justify that route? Are there any other options I haven't considered??

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        • #5
          Bottom line


          My family will ALWAYS come before any job.



          YOU and only YOU can make the decision.


          If he has a job, he will have to have a "care giver" just like you would . There isn't any difference.
          Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

          My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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          • #6
            Difference is that currently we both work 8-5, so neither of us are available during the "caregiver" timeframes. Works both ways - if he had custody, kept his 8-5 and required daycare, but I worked a different shift and was available during those hours, I'd then have "first preference" and could fight HIM for custody.

            I agree with your bottom line - family first. So maybe I'm wondering if I should see it through and deal with the repercussions as they come, which means I could possibly resign from my new position within months of obtaining it. OR if, based on facts from other real life similar situations, I should bow out now because of a weak case in the even that it becomes a case.

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            • #7
              For what it is worth I am just finishing up a 14 onth divorce...... what it plays out to is the judges and gardian at litum's around my home would prefer the child is put to bed by a parent if one is available. Seeing as how I work second shift I have my daughter on all of my days off. And every morning before I come to work. So, for what it is worth in my area shift work can affect placement. Of Course that depends on the area you live ages of the children ect. P.M. if you need/ want more info.

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              • #8
                At the risk of sounding flippant, have you consulted an Attorney? While I claim no particular insight into Kansas Law, a good attorney would certainly be able to assist you in litigating your case. Still, as my colleague has correctly noted, the decision to pursue your LE aspirations is yours alone to make. We have at least one female colleague who has gone through a somewhat similar situation to yours. Hopefully, she'll see this thread and offer you some advice. Her advice is always 100% on the money. Hope things work out for you, and your children. Good luck.

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                • #9
                  Not flippant at all - I appreciate any and all feedback. I've contacted a couple of attorneys hoping for a free or cheap (ha!) consultation with no luck. I was not satisfied with my divorce attorney, but since she knows my case and I have her direct contact information I sent an email. Punchline: She emailed me at the exact moment notifying me of my ex's initiation of another conciliation process. Ugh. It's a good thing though. Sitting down with a conciliator may be just what the doctor ordered. The ex is forced to prove action vs. words, which will only help my case. I've decided, for now, to allow the continuance of my candidacy until a decision is required. Hopefully the conciliation process will get going SOON and I can keep all the parts moving and somehow falling into place.

                  Female colleague with on the money advice: thoughts would be extremely appreciated =) Thank you all!

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                  • #10
                    I am currently finishing up a year long court battle with my ex-husband that involved custody. I have been divorced for over 10 years and some issues came up that caused us to go back to court. Feel free to PM me with any questions you have and I will share my experience. My family comes first, no questions about that. For me, I waited until my son was a little bit older before I made the career change, but that was my decision and I had my own reasons for that. I was able to go to the academy, survive FTO, and currently work as an LEO, all while being a single mom. Not easy, but can be done if you are willing and able to make sacrifices and sometimes those sacrifices are HUGE. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending how you look at it, my ex lives in another state.

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