Tips for Non-Custodial Parents and Infant Visitation
Almost all parents want as much time with their children as possible. Many times, potential clients approach me wanting overnight visits with their very young children. I remind people that under the law, Courts seek to determine what's in the best interests of the child. Judge's look to psychologists and clinicians to help them determine the best custody arrangements. The age of the child is fundamentally important. Courts are very aware of children's attachment and nurturing needs.
A recent study from the University of Virginia confirms what many other studies and custody evaluators have concluded: small children for instance, infants require far more time with their primary caretaker than with the non-custodial parent. The University of Virginia study found that 43% of infants experienced attachment issues as a result of weekly overnight stays with the non-custodial parent compared with 16% of babies who had even less frequent overnight visits. Basically the bottom line is that babies need to spend the night with their primary caregivers.
Here are some tips for non-custodial parents of babies:
1. Understand that weekend visits and overnights may not be appropriate for your baby.
2. Consider negotiating for more consistent and frequent day-time visits instead of overnights.
3. Understand that your parenting plan should be updated as your child gets older and overnights can be incorporated when your child is more mature.
4. Consider that spending less time now with your child may result in much higher quality time with them later as they get older and circumstances change.
5. Just because your child spends more time with primary caregiver doesn't make you less of a parent.
Whether you are the custodial parent/primary caregiver or the non-custodial parent, an experienced Custody Attorney can help you craft a parenting plan that is both in your child's best interest and yours.