Working on the oil rig is one way to earn money that supports your family. Going through a child custody case while working on the rig poses some unique challenges. Your schedule probably doesn’t allow you to work around a custody schedule. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to spend time with your child. Instead, you must determine how to work out a plan that enables you to spend time building a good relationship with your child.
#1: Custody agreements must be detailed
Even though you need a plan that takes your schedule into account, the plan must still include details that make it easy for you and your ex-wife to know what must happen. The more details you include now, the less chance something regarding custody will happen later that you don’t know how to handle.
#2: Plans must be flexible
Details are important when you create the child custody agreement. Make sure that the schedule is still flexible enough to take your work schedule into account. This might mean something as simple as a clause stating you will inform your ex-wife of your schedule as soon as you know it so that you and she can determine when your child will have time with you.
#3: Contingency plans must be made
Contingency plans are crucial for custody arrangements involving oil rig workers. You never know when a big storm will stop you from coming back to land or when something will happen that requires you to leave quickly. Your contingency plan should include information about who will care for your child if this happens or how you and your ex-wife will get the child to her.
#4: Virtual visitation is possible
You can still visit with your child while you are on the rig. Many oil rigs have Internet access. You can use that to chat via a video message. Sending emails and sharing pictures might also occur. If your child is young, you might be able to schedule times to read the child a story. You might be able to help an older child with homework or talk them through a neat science experiment. Be sure to include virtual visitation terms in your custody agreement.
#5: Modifications might be necessary
As your work schedule or position changes or as the child gets older, you might need to change the child custody agreement. Modifications are possible. Typically, you and your ex would work together to come to the new terms. If that isn’t possible, the court can step in to make the decisions.