Parenting arrangements for shift workers.
Not your average 9-5?
Making arrangements for children to spend time with each parent after separation can be difficult at the best of times.
In many industries today, work hours are not of the traditional 9am Monday to 5pm Friday variety. Irregular, rotating and shift working rosters have traditionally been regarded as problematic for parents trying to negotiate parenting orders which allow for parents to spend regular time with their children.
Moving forward: flexible arrangements
The good news is that the Courts have acknowledged the need to allow for more flexible arrangements where one parent works irregular shifts.
In the case of LEES  FMCAfam 1074 the Court granted flexible parenting orders to a father employed by the mining industry. The orders meant the father could spend time with the children in line with his 28 day rotating roster, which included both night and day shifts followed by 4 days off.
This allowed the father to spend both weekend and weekday time with the children, and be involved in the day-to-day routines of getting the children off to school, weekday bedtime routines and after school activities. The father was also able to spend down time with the children on the weekends he was not scheduled to work.
Parents who are having difficulty reaching an agreement should seek expert advice to resolve these issues. Delays in reaching an agreement where a parent is not spending regular time with a child can adversely affect that parent’s relationship with the child, and potentially any parenting orders which may be later made in the Court.
A job involving shift work no longer has to be a barrier to a parent spending time and maintaining a close and continuing relationship with a child.