Child custody is a highly emotional and legal issue that truck drivers must be aware of. The truck drivers and child custody is a complex matter.
The truck driver’s job can take them away from home for weeks or even months at a time, which may pose problems in the event of divorce. Details regarding this issue are going to be discussed below:
6 Things You Must Know About Truck Drivers and Child Custody
If you’re a truck driver going through a divorce or considering getting one, it is essential to know your rights regarding child custody. I will cover below 6 points to consider when dealing with truckers and child custody issues.
#1. Can a truck driver have joint custody of a child?
It depends. There are two types of joint custody. Legal and physical. Not only as a truck driver but as a parent, you have full right to legal custody. But, an order for joint physical custody depends on the context of the case.
There can be some issues the court will consider. Such as trucking schedule. It may change depending on company needs and work requirements, making it difficult for them to always present with the kids.
Another issue would arise from long travel, such as weekends spent away from home or missed holidays due to truck driving obligations.
You may be emotional about keeping your child to you. But, the court will try to ensure the best suitable circumstance for growing your child. After considering these issues, courts determine custody based on what they think is best for the child.
The judge may order only visitation or extended gapping custody depending on the circumstance. Consult your local child custody lawyer to strongly show your situation and capability in court.
#2. What type of visitation can an OTR truck driver expect to get?
The rule is not separate for OTR or local truck drivers. No problem with getting legal child custody. But obtaining physical child custody is more challenging than regular truck drivers as OTR drivers need to spend longer on more distant roads.
As mentioned earlier, some issues the court will consider are work requirements that could make it hard for truck drivers always to be present with kids or spend weekends away from home on trucking obligations.
So, you must convince the court with solid evidence that you can spend quality time with your child to get a physical custody order. Otherwise, the court may order only a visitation order.
#3. My ex-husband started truck driving. Can I withhold visitation?
The answer is No. You can’t deny visitation just because truck driving is a long-distance job. The court will try to be fair and considerate of your child’s wellbeing when making the order of custody.
If your ex is missing most of the visitation date, you may ask for a court order for a modification order.
However, you will have to prove significant circumstances changed since the last custody order. So, you can not withhold a child from another parent without a court order. Always remember keeping the child away from the other parent can backfire.
You can’t without visitation rights of non-custodial parents, even if they moved out of the state. It is the fundament right of the parents until the court curtails that.
#4. I’m a truck driver, and I want to know my rights to child custody:
It all depends on the context. As a trucker or just as a parent, you have full rights to legal custody. But only joint physical custody is based on your work schedule, which may change timely. The court will try to make an order that benefits children’s well-being.
It can be difficult if trucking requirements are unavailable on weekdays, mornings, and weekends when kids need parents the most (school days).
And finally, don’t forget about missing school vacations because the trucking job doesn’t stop at night or during holidays due to long-distance driving in the trucker’s schedule.
Also, remember this rule does not apply only to OTR drivers but to truck drivers in general.
#5. How can a truck driver make a parenting plan?
Truck drivers need to make a parenting plan to show the court they can spend time with their children. The best way is for truckers to be able to take off when needed and still get home in time for visitation every other weekend or so.
The trucker must convince the judge of his/her capability by presenting evidence, such as regular attendance records at work, payslips, financial responsibilities etc. If possible, ask your employer if you could get paid leave during days taken off according to the custody agreement schedule.
Or prepare some kind of proof from the supervisor about them being OK with taking an extended break-time away from work on personal matters (such as family issues). But trucking schedules may change without notice which will not help truck drivers with custody plans.
Truck drivers should always have a backup plan if they cannot be present for scheduled visitation time due to trucking obligations that typically don’t allow offsides and last-minute schedule changes.
Always have a truck driver’s family lawyer on their side for help with custody and visitation rights- they will always make sure truck drivers know what is allowed in the law, state-specific regulations, etc.
When necessary, an attorney can offer to represent truckers at court hearings or other legal proceedings such as mediation sessions.
Watch the below video of 4 truck drivers to hear a discussion on how truck drivers pay a lot in child support:
#6. Can a truck driver get sole custody?
A truck driver can get sole custody if they have solid evidence that the trucking obligations will not interfere with their parental duties.
The trucker will also need to show a court there is no other person who could help take care of the child in this situation, and it’s necessary for the trucker’s child’s safety.
The judge will try to make an order that benefits the child’s well-being as much as possible- so truck driving schedules may be taken into account when making decisions about physical joint or full legal custody (depending on circumstances).
Truckers and child custody is a complex matters. Truck drivers are away from home for weeks or even months at a time, which can pose problems in the event of divorce.
If you’re going through a divorce or considering getting one, it’s essential to know your rights regarding child custody. I hope the above article helps you. If anything else needs to know, don’t hesitate to comment below.