Custody Question (Getting a Job)


I’ve just discovered that my wife of 10 years is cheating on me, and we are going to break up. She had 2 boys when we met, whom I’ve helped to raise, but don’t have any legal claim to (I’ve not adopted them). We have one daughter together that is 9 years old.

Traditionally, I’ve been the one who provided all the support in the family. However, after coming home from Iraq (civilian govt. contract work) last year, I’ve been a stay at home dad. She doesn’t make a whole lot of $$, but we paid down our bills while I was overseas, and I did little odd jobs here and there. We were fine.

However, now I have to get a job as I want to move out. We likely won’t have the $$ to hire lawyers (yeah, I know it’s stupid, but reality is reality), so I’m hoping we can resolve this peacefully between us. I’ve been doing a lot of reading online - this site has been an invaluable resource. Thank you so much.

Anyway, I want 50% custody of our daughter. I don’t care about property - aside from my car and a few odds & ends, she can have it. I’m a pretty minimalistic person, so it won’t bother me.

However, as I mentioned, I have to get a job. Herein lies my problem. The type of work I do is usually office-based, 8 to 5 type work. The problem is that there is very little work where I live at the moment. I’m kind of in a hurry to get this process moving, as I want to get out. But if I can’t get a job, I can’t go anywhere.

I was recently contact to do some retail mgmt (which I’ve done in the past). It would be a paying job and allow me to get out (we’d work out a separation agreement before I left), so that’s fine. But it would likely be 50+ hours/week, rotating shifts, different days each week, etc. This isn’t exactly a schedule conducive to having custody of a 9 year old 50% of the time.

On one hand, I take the job, get out, but risk not being able to get 50% custody b/c of the schedule. On the other hand, I wait for a more ‘normal’ 8 to 5 type job, and hope one comes along I can get (which has a much tougher chance of happening).

What would I be best off (overall) doing?