During a divorce, determining custody and visitation schedules involving infants can introduce some additional complications for parents in California. The primary caregiver might feel that the other parent does not have the ability to care for the infant. However, it is important that parents trust one another despite their differences. All new parents have to learn as they go to some extent.
Visits can also start out short. For example, they can just be for an hour or two a few times a week. Some courts will wait until a child is older to order overnight visits. The most important element of visitation with infants is that the schedule is consistent and frequent to allow the infant to bond with the noncustodial parent.
Another consideration is whether the mother is breastfeeding. If a mother is reluctant to agree to a visitation schedule because she is breastfeeding, it is best to examine the roots of this reluctance. For example, it may be because the mother is worried about the baby’s routine being disrupted. The parents may want to discuss options for pumping breast milk or using formula sometimes.
It can be particularly difficult for a primary caregiver to agree to a visitation schedule when the child is an infant, but reaching an agreement on child custody presents challenges whatever the child’s age. For example, as children get older, parents may also need to work around their extracurricular schedules. Parents may also face increased resistance from older children. For example, a child might not want to visit one parent. Unless the child is actually in danger with that parent, courts generally take the position that the child should spend some time with both parents. However, the child’s preference may be considered regarding who is the custodial parent.