Creating Shared Custody Schedules for Infants
You can create your own custody and visitation schedule on your own or with the other parent. Or, you can work with an attorney or legal professional and have them create one. If you don't want to pay the high cost of an attorney, and would rather create your own schedule, use the Custody X Change software.
Custody X Change is software that creates custody schedules and parenting plans. You make each part of your schedule, then print your calendar and plan.
The court will expect separating parents to come up with a fair shared custody schedule that promotes the infant's best interest. If parents cannot agree on a custody schedule, the court will implement one of its own.
Because you and the other parent know your own schedules and the needs of your baby best, it's to your advantage to create a shared custody schedule for your infant. Put your differences aside and create a shared custody schedule that works for all three of you. If the other parent is unwilling, create a fair schedule on your own to present to the court for consideration.
The legal rights of separated parents ensure that both of you have the opportunity to spend quality time with your infant. Unless it can be proven that time with the other parent is not in the infant's best interest, you will need to agree on a parenting schedule that gives both of you the chance to bond with your infant.
Use a custody schedule software like Custody X Change, to help you and the other parent come up with a workable, fair schedule that you can present to your attorneys or to the court. When you and the other parent can create your own detailed schedule, your attorneys will not spend as much time creating one for you, thereby reducing legal fees.
A successful shared custody schedule for your infant makes your day-to-day life less stressful when co-parenting because you both have a straightforward custody schedule to guide you.
The top benefits of a shared custody schedule for infants include:
- Specific and predictable visitations, which reduces confusion
- Reduction of conflicts between parents
- Plenty of time for both parents to bond with the infant
- A happy and well adjusted baby
- Lower legal fees, because many aspects are already settled
- Reduced court involvement in setting up a schedule
Raising a child together when you are divorced is complicated, especially when it comes to following a parenting schedule. When both parents are on the same page about visitations, there are fewer opportunities for miscommunication.
Custody X Change allows you to create a shared custody schedule that can be printed out for your convenience and even uploaded to your mobile devices. When your shared custody schedule is easily accessed by both parents, miscommunication is significantly minimized.
When you create a shared custody schedule for infants, include specifications that place the infant's physical and emotional development above your own desires or that of the other parent.
Childhood development experts agree that infants have specific needs when it comes to establishing relationships with their caregivers. Your shared custody schedule should support your infant's development, not hinder it.
Make sure your custody schedule supports these 5 critical infant needs:
- Infants need a predictable and stable routine
- Infants need frequent contact with both parents
- Infants need sensitive, loving care from both parents that includes feeding, changing, bathing and comforting
- Infants need a primary residence with familiar items
- Infants need to move slowly and gradually into a new situation or schedule
There is no one-size-fits-all shared custody schedule, so each family must work together to put together a schedule that best meets the baby's needs. You may find it easier to use custody scheduling software like Custody X Change to develop a workable calendar that details your parenting schedule.
To ensure stability and consistency in your infant's life, avoid creating a shared custody schedule with elements that may be detrimental to your baby's health and development.
Make sure your custody schedule avoids these 5 conditions:
- Avoid schedules that prevent establishing a stable daily routine
- Avoid long separations from the primary caregiver
- Avoid separations of more than a day or two from the secondary caregiver
- Avoid scheduling exchanges during the infant's nap time
- Avoid radical changes to the infant's schedule
Realize that a shared custody schedule that promotes the needs of your infant will not divide parenting time in half. It is more important to promote healthy development than dividing up hours. There will be plenty of time for a more even distribution of parenting time as the baby grows and matures.
Parents who are truly interested in the well-being of their infant will create a parenting schedule that reduces the need for equity and highlights what the baby needs.
Most child development experts feel that overnight stays with a secondary caretaker are not appropriate for infants, but there are others who disagree depending on the family circumstances. You will need to evaluate whether overnight stays are in the best interest of your baby before you incorporate them into your shared custody schedule.
Each situation is different when it comes to deciding whether an infant should spend the night with the secondary caretaker. For the most part, your infant needs access to the primary caregiver as much as possible and should not be separated for more than a few hours. That parent provides the consistency and predictability a baby needs to thrive.
However, there are a few situations where an overnight visit for an older infant may work out, but parents must examine this carefully. Start with one or two experimental overnight stays, then evaluate the results.
A few situations that may lead to a successful overnight stay for your infant include:
- The secondary caretaker frequently provides quality care for the infant
- The infant takes long, peaceful naps at the secondary caretaker's home
- The secondary caretaker has often cared for the infant overnight in the primary residence
- The primary caretaker cannot care for the infant overnight, such as during a business trip or a hospital stay
When you and the other parent feel like it is time for your infant to begin a regularly scheduled overnight stay, Custody X change makes it easy to adjust your custody schedule as your infant reaches important developmental milestones.
Whenever you and the other parent can resolve scheduling issues on your own you reduce the need for the legal system to weigh in on your custody schedule. Less involvement equals fewer legal fees, so it's in the best interest of your finances to at least attempt to work out a shared custody schedule.
You can make changes to your custody schedule as long as you both agree and the changes are not detrimental to your baby. As long as the changes are considered to be in the best interest of the child, you have a good change of getting the courts to approve it.
One strategy is to use a custody schedule software program such as Custody X Change to work out what you both think would be a fair and beneficial shared custody schedule for your infant. Resolve everything you can together, then turn to a third party for help with the issues you either don't understand or can't agree on.