Ask a CA Divorce Attorney: Unemployed or Stay at Home Parent?

Pleasanton CA famiy lawThe job market has been more volatile than ever before, and many parents have struggled with sporadic or no work. The timing can be challenging for those who are currently getting divorced, as unemployment can enable a parent to be with the child full-time and try to tip the custody battle in their favor. 

While parents will try to get an edge in custody any way they can, this attempt to tip the scales can be especially frustrating when it involved a parent who is chronically unemployed. In these scenarios, the other parent is forced to bear the financial burden via spousal support and this doesn’t always guarantee that the child will get the care that he/she needs. 

There are ways in which CA family law courts try to distinguish between a stay-at-home-parent and an unemployed parent who may be stretching the truth about their involvement with day-to-day care. Today’s post takes a look at these factors to help parents navigate these and other related family law matters in CA.

Factors that Determine Whether the Ex Can Remain Unemployed

CA family law dictates that parents must provide for their children and ensure their safety/well-being. After a divorce, a child should ideally maintain the same quality of life, access to healthcare, school and school schedule, and more. If one parent’s unemployed status impacts this, then the judge can order that parent to get a job and share equal custody with the other parent. 

When someone claims that he or she must remain unemployed in order to care for their children, the family law courts look at these factors: 

  • The parent’s previous employment history and whether there is a pattern of unemployment
  • The age of the child, as school-aged children or older generally do not need full-time supervision
  • All parental duties that the non-working parent is currently responsible for

Based on these factors, you and your family law attorney can demonstrate to the court that the ex should not remain unemployed, and that equal shared custody is the right choice for your family. 

Parents Who Work Full Time Deserve Custody RIghts Too

As the primary earner, your parental rights should not be minimized or taken simply because you have to work to earn that money. Both parents are entitled to equal custody, and our family law attorneys can help you protect your rights. Contact us at the Law Offices of James P. White to learn about how we can help you navigate this and other custody issues.