When parents in Florida are getting a divorce and they have a child who is an infant, figuring out a visitation schedule can be complicated. It involves balancing the physical and emotional needs of the parents and the child.
It is important for the noncustodial parent to have regular visits with the child, but these do not necessarily have to be lengthy for bonding to occur. In most cases, a good visitation schedule allows the noncustodial parent to visit often for short periods of time, such as half an hour four times per week. The child’s main caregiver may have a number of concerns about visitation. Learning how to care for an infant involves understanding what the infant’s different cries mean and other nonverbal communication. A custodial parent who is worried about this should keep in mind that the other parent can learn this as well.
Breastfeeding brings another set of concerns, particularly if one parent wants overnight visits. Some courts do not allow these at all, but parents may need to work out a plan if a breastfeeding infant is going to spend more time with the father. They may want to discuss having the mother pump breastmilk or combine pumping with formula replacement to allow the father to have longer visitation periods with the child.
In a divorce, it is generally best if parents are able to amicably negotiate a child custody agreement instead of having to go to court. This is particularly true if the child is an infant since they will need to renegotiate this agreement as the child gets older. This can be expensive and stressful if parents have to go through an adversarial battle every few years. However, if the case must go to litigation, a judge will make a decision that is in the best interests of the child.