Having a new baby in the house can be a joyous time, but can also be stressful for new parents trying to adjust to having a newborn. If the parents are going through a divorce or child custody dispute, this is especially true, as the parents have to handle the needs of a new baby while also juggling the issues involved with a family law case. Every child and age group has its own challenges and requirements, but newborns especially have some special issues that parent should consider when making parenting proposals to the court or trying to come to a settlement agreement.
Parents need to carefully consider the psychological needs of a child. Newborns need to have a strong sense of security and stability, but this needs to be balanced against the need of a newborn to have frequent contact with both parents in order to establish and maintain a parent-child bond. This means that a week to week schedule, while possibly appropriate for a school aged child, will probably not work for a newborn. Having frequent, short visits when a child is very young will help the non-custodial parent establish a bond. The parents should discuss making the visits longer but less frequent as the baby gets older. Establishing a parenting plan that already provides for the changing needs of the child will make it unnecessary for the parents to return to court every time the child is ready to step up to longer visits. Where a mother is breastfeeding, this can present additional issues, to which the parents should be sensitive and carefully consider.
Every child is different and crafting a parenting schedule that fits every child is important to help the child in the transition to two different households. Call us today at (732) 529-6937 to talk about your child and your options.