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Considerations in creating a visitation plan for infants

California parents who are getting a divorce may need to agree on a custody and visitation plan. If the child is an infant, the plan and considerations will be different than they would be for an older child.

Generally, the aim with visitation for infants is short but frequent contact. This means that visits may last anywhere from half an hour to a few hours several times each week. This is usually sufficient for an infant to form bonds with the noncustodial parent. However, the custodial parent may be reluctant to allow even this much visitation time. The main caregiver may have spent a great deal of time learning the infant's cries and needs and worry that the other parent cannot provide the same level of care. Most of the time, parents should trust that the other parent can learn those cues as well and may have a different parenting style but can still be an effective parent.

Nursing mothers may have concerns to do with anxiety about being away from the child, but they might also have practical concerns about the child's feeding schedule and pumping. Parents may want to consider using formula some of the time, and the visitation schedule can take the child's sleeping and eating needs into account.

Often, parents are able to negotiate an agreement for custody and visitation without going to court. This can give them the flexibility to make a creative schedule that suits their needs and that of their children. While a schedule made while the child is an infant is likely to need modification later, even visitation schedules for older children may need changes over time. The child may have more activities outside of school that the parents need to work around, or the child might express a preference to live with one parent.

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Law Offices of Catherine A. Schwartz
6877 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92506

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