It is safe to say all parents do whatever they can to help ensure their children’s well-being, but when parents decide to separate, entirely new factors come into play. Likely, most divorcing Tennessee parents wonder about the impact of the split on their children, including how custody arrangements will affect the amount and quality of parenting time. This may be of particular concern to parents who work outside the home. However, those divorcing people who strive for a healthy balance between home and family should keep the following points in mind during negotiations with their soon-to-be ex.

Firstly, divorcing parents should remember to keep the focus on what is best for their children, rather than on “winning.” Everyone will fare better if parents settle on an arrangement that will cause the children the least amount of stress and allow them to maintain a relationship with both parents. Working parents need to ask themselves various questions about handling of daily routines such as after-school pickup, meal times and bed time, and answer honestly while being realistic about how much time they can commit to their children. Parents who are not able to handle some childcare tasks personally, such as after-school pickup, can arrange for a reliable person to cover them. Judges are more open-minded than they used to be about non-parent child care options, provided a reasonable and reliable alternative is presented.

Working parents who need some flexibility in their workday for childcare should be open to their employer about their needs and organize for such accommodations in advance. Companies tend to value work-life balance more than in the past. Because of this modern corporate culture, in most cases, people can feel comfortable talking to co-workers about their parenting responsibilities that may sometimes require them to leave work early.

Tennessee divorcing parents who are also dealing with the demands of a career need to know that, typically, judges now do not automatically grant custody to the stay-at-home parent. Working parents who think honestly about how much they want to be involved with their children, as well as how much time they have to give, and express their sincere desire to be a good parent should be able to reach a fair custody arrangement with their spouse. A knowledgeable family law attorney can help parents reach this goal.