Child custody and visitation can become tricky, especially if the case involves an infant. This is because bonds and attachment can significantly affect the relationship between the child and the parents. The couples involved in this type of dispute need to consider the value of developing early attachments to maintain a good relationship with the child.
Best Interests of the Child
Just like in any other child custody disputes, what’s the best for the child matters the most. When determining decisions, the court will consider different factors such as the physical and emotional state of the parent, including parenting competence and financial stability. There are also cases where the court might consider whether the mother is still breastfeeding. Those who are unable to spend more time with the child or who has never cared for the infant may have slim chances of getting custody.
Mothers vs. Fathers
The tender years doctrine or the presumption that kids should live with their mothers have been abolished. Preston, Pence & Lisonbee notes that both the mother and the father need to show that they are willing and capable of providing care and support for the child. There are also some states in the country where the law states that both parents are considered a potential caregiver, with no favor of the mother or the father.
Traditionally, this type of visitation was not recommended for infants and young children. Research disputes, however, disagree, noting that overnight visitation is psychologically important for the kid. This is because it provides opportunities for nurturing. There is also no proof or evidence that suggests that the relationship with the custodial parent suffers when the other parent visits overnight. Despite this, there is still an argument over this type of visitation.
When it comes to custody arrangements, the frequency of visitation is more important than the length. This is because infants have short memories and require enough contact to promote attachment and bonding. It is best if parents can alternate visitation days or allow the other parent to visit the child during the other party’s parenting time.