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Determining custody schedules for infants after divorce

When parents of infants in Indiana get a divorce, they may have some additional challenges regarding child custody. When a child is that young, some parents who are the main caregivers may be hesitant to leave the child with the other parent. However, even if the other parent is less experienced with the infant, that parent can learn. It might be necessary for the main caregiver to trust the situation and allow the other person to parent in their own way.

It is unlikely that these visits will be very long to start with. Frequency and consistency are important to allowing the child to bond with the other parent, but the visits can be just 30 minutes or a few hours. They may happen a few times a week. Parents can work together to determine the least disruptive arrangement based on the child's eating and sleeping schedule. They may want to consider overnight visits as well, but some courts do not allow overnight visits until the child is older.

Breastfeeding mothers may need special consideration, but this can be worked around as well. If the mother is reluctant to allow visitation, it might be worthwhile to explore the reasons and possible solutions. For example, she might be able to pump breastmilk. The child could also be fed formula.

Parents may be able to negotiate an agreement regarding child custody and visitation. They do not necessarily have to go to court although the agreement they reach is usually sent to a judge for approval. Even when the child is not an infant, the custody agreement will probably be modified as the child gets older. For example, parents may need to work around the child's extracurricular activities. Parents might need to return to court to have the agreement modified for any major changes.

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Robert Schembs
22 E. Washington Street
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Indianapolis, IN 46204

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