The impact of FIFO work commitments on your relationship

The fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) lifestyle certainly has its challenges, but the old opinion that FIFO families are more likely to face separation and divorce just isn’t true.

Studies conducted focusing on the impact of this type of working life have found that married couples that have one spouse working away as a FIFO worker are no more likely to divorce than couples who work and live together all year round.

The FIFO way of life is demanding and challenging and not for everyone. However, Family Lawyers and divorce lawyers around Perth will attest that FIFO couples who are in the process of separating are acutely aware of the impact this upheaval will have on their children. Naturally, they are keen to minimise any potential disruption and upset to their family.

In a FIFO relationship where children are involved, the spouse who remains at home often feels burdened with the emotional responsibility of being sole parent. In the case of younger children, they must also face potential questions about why their other parent is away for long stretches of time. This can be isolating and frustrating, and the primary caregiver can often feel trapped or overwhelmed with this high level of responsibility.

This pressure of single parenting is often compounded when childcare, school, extracurricular activities and their own work outside the home is added to the mix.

For the FIFO parent, however, the difficulty is having to leave the family for long stretches of time. They often miss everything that is happening at home, including birthdays and other important occasions, and may feel immense guilt at having to travel far away for long periods of time.

If a married FIFO couple feels that they can no longer continue with their relationship, then a good Family Lawyer will always recommend mediation as a first option if it is appropriate.

Often this will determine what the heart of the problem is, and if it can potentially be overcome.

If divorce is the only option, it is important to engage a Family Lawyer or divorce lawyer who is aware of the FIFO lifestyle and the challenges it presents, so that they can be understanding of the issues raised by both parties.

Leach Legal is an expert Family Law firm based in Perth with vast experience in helping FIFO clients. If you require advice about divorce or separation, visit Leach Legal or call (08) 9486 9733 for a free 15 minute consultation.

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