Ask most professional athletes what they find most challenging about their job and they will likely say it’s the time away from their families. It’s not difficult to see why, either. Professional teams like the Rays, Buccaneers and Lightning here in Tampa often have rigorous game schedules that may keep them home for a few days then have them away for a week or more at a time. It’s understandable that this time away can put a strain on one’s family.
But daunting travel schedules aren’t just a challenge for happily married professional athletes. Travel schedules can also create major problems for divorced athletes who have children from a previous marriage or relationship. For these athletes, missing their children is only part of the equation. Balancing work and a parenting plan is the other major piece.
Understanding parenting-time schedules
Florida law, like so many other states, requires separating parents to enter into a time-sharing agreement that designates everything from how each parent will share responsibility of daily tasks for the child, how much time the child will have with each parent, when such times will take place and who will be responsible for decisions concerning health care, schooling and other matters.
Because most divorcing parents have relatively predictable schedules, drafting a parenting plan may not be a difficult process for most. Unfortunately for professional athletes, the same is not true.
A professional athlete’s complex work schedule, demanding training time and ever-changing travel schedule necessitates the need for a flexible parenting plan. In order to achieve such a customized plan, athletes often need to turn to someone more knowledgeable in the law, such as a family law attorney, who is better able to resolve matters amicably and in the best interests of all parties involved.