Traveling for Work and Child Custody: Will Your Job Affect Your Outcome

Posted on: 16 March 2023


The court requests that all parents actively participate in satisfying their child's well-being. To achieve this goal, some parents must operate in a work role requiring them to travel frequently. At the same time, providing a stable environment for the child is also a request of the court. However, for parents that travel often, there might be questions about whether they can provide the necessary stability. If you travel frequently and want custody of your child, learn what role your career might play.


Again, the court is all about balance in what they consider in child custody cases. For this reason, the fact that the court will assess the balance in terms of the frequency you travel should not come as a surprise. 

Generally, someone who travels a few days a month versus someone who travels so much that they are only home a few days out of the month will be viewed differently by the courts. To ensure the court is clear of your typical travel pattern, prepare a calendar that reflects your travel schedule for at least the previous six months. 

Choice vs. Demand

The court might also look at the traveling parent's choice to travel versus a demand to travel, especially for people who travel more frequently. Take someone with a unique skill set that cannot maximize their opportunities in their local market and, to stay close to their child, must travel for work. 

On the other hand, consider someone like a travel nurse who could find comparable work at a local hospital but chooses to travel instead. Given these scenarios, that parent forced to travel might be viewed more favorably than the person who has chosen to do so. 

Parenting Plan

An important thing to remember about the child custody process is that nothing is black and white. The court considers these requests on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, parents who travel frequently may fare better if they have a detailed parenting plan for their time away from their child, which an attorney can help prepare.

These plans might include a nontraditional shared custody schedule with the other parent to accommodate their travel or even list a grandparent as someone who will step in when the parent is away. The more detailed the plan, the better. 

If you are in this predicament, make sure you speak with a custody attorney about your specific dynamic to find the best path forward.