Developing a custody plan that both parents approve of is tricky for many families; however, when determining how to successfully share custody of an infant, this makes figuring out custody arrangements even more arduous. There are special considerations that you need to take into account when parenting a very young child. Here are a few things you need to know about sharing custody of an infant.
Research Indicates It is Best for Baby to Have a Primary Caregiver
Scientific research indicates that it is best for baby to have a parent who acts as baby's primary caregiver. This helps baby form strong attachments and is important for the health of future relationships. Either the mother or father can act as the primary caregiver. Having a constant caregiver and environment is important for your baby to feel secure.
Parents should keep this in mind when setting up a custody schedule for an infant. Ideally, baby should have the same caregiver at night to encourage a stable environment. If parents are seeking to set up a custody schedule that gives each parent equal time with baby, they may have to get creative so that each parent receives ample time. Instead of overnight visits, one caregiver could come over multiple times a week to spend time with baby during the day and in the evenings. As baby gets older, you can gradually add more overnight visits to the custody schedule.
In Most States, Judges are Not Required to Take Breastfeeding into Account When Setting a Custody Schedule
Ideally, your former partner and yourself should come up with a custody agreement that you both agree with, either on your own or with the help of your attorney or mediator. If your case goes to court, you need to know what to expect. In the majority of states, judges are not legally obligated to consider whether or not mom is breastfeeding when setting a custody schedule. Idaho does not have any laws that require a judge to award custody based on how baby is fed.
Though research indicates that breastfeeding is best for baby, advocates for fathers argue that breastfeeding should not come at the expense of a father's visitation. Try to work with your former partner and compromise. Mom could agree to pump so that dad can feed baby breast milk using a bottle. Or, Mom could specify that it is okay for Dad to use formula when needed.
Some babies are finicky when it comes to drinking from bottles. If your baby rejects the bottle or drinks less than a normal feeding, get creative. Maybe Dad could swing by Mom's house for a feeding, or perhaps Mom could meet Dad at a neutral location.
Need help drafting a parenting plan with your former partner? Contact Hart Law Offices, PC for legal guidance.