People often assume courts prefer to give mothers custody of young children during a divorce. This idea seems to lie in the fact that women give birth and have an essential role in feeding an infant.
However, both parents have a right to play a part in a child’s life, so a non-birthing parent can find ways to remain active in a child’s upbringing after divorce with the following suggestions.
Cooperating to create a successful custody arrangement
The court seeks to divide the baby’s time in a way fitting for the infant’s development. If couples can negotiate a custody plan beforehand, they may prevent any surprises or unwelcome decisions by the judge.
A child’s physical and emotional health should be a primary concern. For example, inconsistency can lead to separation anxiety, so parents need to make transitions as seamless and stress-free as possible.
A practical plan should opt for:
- Offering each parent sufficient bonding time
- Creating a consistent schedule for the baby
- Using frequent, shorter visits instead of long stays
The judge is more likely to approve an arrangement that focuses on benefitting the child.
Dealing with breastfeeding
In a child’s earliest stages, the mother is the main source of nutrition. Parents should create a routine that addresses the baby’s feeding plan while not denying the role of the other parent.
Breastfeeding mothers can pump and store breast milk that the other can use during parenting time. Milk will keep for four days in a refrigerator and up to 12 months in the freezer. If the mother cannot produce enough milk for overnight visits, baby formula may be an acceptable option.
Parenting time with an infant is precious. With forethought, couples who are divorcing can create a custody plan to meet a child’s need to interact with both loving parents.