Blog

Divorcing Police Officers Face Unique Parenting Time Issues

Divorcing police officers and firefighters, like other clients, face a multitude of issues.  For most parties, the paramount concern is custody and parenting time when there are children born of the marriage.

For most parents who work “9 to 5” jobs, there will be a traditional custody and parenting time arrangement.  This agreement is either agreed upon by the parties or set down by the Court via Order. However, police officers and firefighters face the enhanced task of working out a parenting time schedule that fits their unique hours and shifts.  This is in addition to addressing the “typical” issues found in a divorce.

Custody

As background, there are two types of custody designations – legal custody and residential custody. Legal custody is defined as decision making, relative to the child’s health, religion, education, safety and welfare. It may be joint (where the parties have equal say) or sole (where one parent decides) legal custody. Residential custody refers to which residence the child or children spends the majority of their overnights. There are two designations here; one parent is the Parent of Primary Residence (PPR) and the other is the Parent of Alternate Residence (PAR.)

Parenting Time Schedules for Police Officers and Firefighters

In addition to all of those considerations, parties must agree upon a parenting time schedule. Typically, parties will alternate weekends, with a party enjoying parenting time from Friday after school until Sunday evening. This may not work for police officers, however, who work rotating shifts, often three or four days on and then four days off. They may alternate working days for a month, and then move to the night shift for the next month. Therefore, a police officer and his or her spouse may need to be creative and flexible in drafting a parenting time arrangement. Similarly, firefighters typically work twenty-four hours on and forty-eight hours off, and then another twenty-four hours on. Again, this shift structure may impede the ability to enter into a “typical” parenting time schedule and this should be addressed during the divorce proceedings.

Another consideration is the parenting time holiday schedule. Since many police and firefighters must work on holidays, this will again need to be addressed with insight and in consideration of the fluid nature of their work. Ultimately, flexibility and fairness are necessary to assure that divorcing police officers and firefighters enjoy their parenting time rights.

We understand the demands and constraints of law enforcement and how they impact parenting time. Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog post or other family law matters.

Subscribe to Our Blog

SHARE THIS POST:

Related Posts

Blog
Is January Really “Divorce Month?”

“Divorce Month” Fact or Fiction: Do More Couples Split in January? was a recent article that I came across in the New York Times. The article discusses the belief that January is the busiest month of the year for divorce filings. The article’s information is consistent with my experiences after practicing family law for many…

Read More
Blog
Divorce Consultations – Are You Prepared?

I spend a significant of my day providing initial divorce consultations. This is the most important time I will spend with a potential client. In these consultations, many of the people that come see me are understandably emotional and focused on the part of the relationship that led them to my office. More often than…

Read More
Blog
Divorce Issues for New Jersey and Federal Government Officials

For many of us, the first time that we heard of family issues affecting government officials started with the philandering of President Clinton. These days, the media feeds us the personal and private affairs of former Congresswoman Katie Hill and former FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, among others. Going through a divorce is a stressful time…

Read More
Blog
What is Emancipation in New Jersey?

As a general matter, New Jersey parents must pay child support until the emancipation of a child. Emancipation is a term that describes the occurrence of an event wherein a child has moved beyond the “sphere of influence” of his or her parents. In other words, emancipation is the act by which a parent relinquishes…

Read More
Blog
Private School Costs in New Jersey Divorces

In a New Jersey case where the parties’ agreement calls for them to “equally divide…school costs,” and one party does not contribute to the costs for years, even though not explicitly asked to do so, a court can enforce the agreement and compel contribution. In the unpublished Appellate Division case of Fanelli v. Hnatowski, the…

Read More
Blog
Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey

A client may want a divorce, but may be unsure on what basis a court would grant them a divorce.  In New Jersey, there are several grounds for divorce.  The legal term for grounds for divorce is “cause of action.”  In every divorce, a party has to allege a specific cause of action that warrants…

Read More
Call Now ButtonCall Us