How Does Job Stability Affect Custody?

By Beverly Bird

When parents divorce, courts can be charged with the unenviable job of deciding which parent their children are better off living with. You and your spouse can avoid putting this delicate issue in the hands of a judge by negotiating your own custody terms. Otherwise, the judge will base a decision on a legal standard called the best interests of the child. Employment in itself isn't generally a best interests factor, but your job might still influence a judge.

Custody Factors

Each state has its own list of best interests factors. No single factor is any more important than the others – they're weighed in total. Some common themes include the child's preference if he's old enough, which parent traditionally cared for the children when the marriage was intact, and whether either parent is likely to interfere with the children's relationship with the other parent.

Job Implications

If you've loyally worked for the same company for years, a judge might consider that a good reflection of your character, and a parent's character is a best interests factor in many states. If you've shown a tendency to job-hop, however, this might indicate to the judge that you have a problem committing yourself to important things. Some states, such as Michigan and Tennessee, look to which parent demonstrates a capacity or disposition to provide for the children's needs, so a parent who chronically avoids working might not be favored in this respect. In Tennessee, judges can base custody decisions, in part, on the available hours you can devote to your children, so a workaholic parent may not win points either.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
What Happens if Someone Quits Jobs in the Middle of a Divorce?


Related articles

Who Has the Advantage in a Custody Battle?

Custody disputes in a divorce really are a lot like battles, as you line up your arsenals of evidence and testimony, then fire it all off at the judge to persuade him to rule in your favor. In one respect, this is what courts intend – at least, they don't want you heading into the fray thinking that one spouse already has an advantage over the other. Custody is decided based on the best interests of your child after the court weighs a series of factors.

What Is the Meaning of Primary Custodian?

When the word primary is used in connection with custody, it usually relates to physical custody – which parent your children will live with after your divorce. The primary parent or custodian has possession of the children the majority of the time, but different states use various terms for dealing with this legal concept.

What Does Permanent Custody Mean?

One of the biggest issues couples with children face during a divorce is who gets custody of the children. Many states have adopted gender-neutral custody laws. This negates the age-old “tender years” doctrine, which dictated that the mother is generally the party best suited to provide permanent care for young children. Because gender is no longer a factor in most custody disputes, courts must examine other aspects of each parent's life when settling custody disagreements.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Dating During the Temporary Custody Phase of a Divorce in Oklahoma

Oklahoma's divorce statutes don't include a specific prohibition about dating. They don't say that if you go out for ...

How to Behave in Custody Battles

The end of a marriage is difficult, but the idea of losing custody of your children is terrifying. A judge's only ...

Can a Dad Get Joint Custody When He Has DUI Charges?

A court's custody decision always comes down to what's in the best interests of the children, so if a parent has a ...

Can My Wife Get Custody of Our Kids If She Is Bipolar and We Get Divorced?

Bipolar disorder can be managed effectively with ongoing professional treatment. Thus, many women with this condition ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED