Visitation 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 it.
If you don't want to pay the high cost of an attorney, and want to easily make your own schedule, you can 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, and then you can print your calendar and plan.
Studies have shown that infants with good, loving parents should have frequent, continuing contact with both parents. However, the length of the visits with a non-custodial parent doesn't have as much impact on the child as the frequency and number of visits that occur.
Infants do not have a very good concept of time so they really cannot tell the difference between an hour and eight hours. If you want to create a visitation schedule that will allow your baby to bond and develop a strong relationship with the non-custodial parent, you should consider allowing the baby to see the other parent several times a week (when possible).
One of the great things about using Custody X Change to create your infant visitation schedule is that you can designate hours (not just days) for parenting time. You can print out a calendar that has time increments on it so you will always know when visitation is scheduled.
The best child visitation schedules are the schedules that are created with careful consideration to the child's needs and that both parents are able to agree upon.
Reaching an agreement with the other parent may not be easy but there are resources (such as mediation) that are available to help you.
Custody X Change can also be a valuable tool you can use to help negotiate and reach an agreement. You can use Custody X Change to create a proposed visitation schedule for your infant and print out a copy for the other parent to review and revise.
Be flexible and have a little patience when considering the requests of the other parent. You can edit the schedule to include the changes the other parent wants or you can offer a compromise.
You can then print of another copy of the schedule and resume the same process until you are able to reach an agreement.
Creating a proposed visitation schedule with Custody X Change is easy to do, easy to edit, and will be less stressful than face to face meetings as the documents make it more create a more professional and less personal environment.
You should keep in mind that if you are unable to reach an agreement, the court will create your visitation schedule for you. This may or may not work out in your favor and you will probably end up with a generic custody schedule.
You don't have a “generic baby”, so if you want to customize and stay in control of your custody agreement then you are going to have to set your differences aside for the sake of your child.
There are several things that should be considered when creating a child visitation schedule.
What are your own schedules like? You will want to create an agreement that both of you will be able to stick to. If you schedule a visit to commence at 5:30pm but the other parent gets off work at 5pm and has to battle traffic to get there on time, it would make more sense to have the visitation begin at 6pm.
Where is the visitation going to take place? Many parents are able to agree to have the non-custodial parent visit the baby in the custodial parent's home. If the non-custodial parent has a two hour visit, and an hour of the visit will be spent driving, it might be better if the parent can see the baby at home.
Some parents also agree to have home visits for the first few months or weeks until the baby develops a bond with and is familiar with the other parent.
This scenario may not work for everyone. If you can't get along with the other parent it is generally not a good idea to have visits at the primary home unless the custodial parent is comfortable leaving the non-custodial parent alone in his or her home during visitation.
What are the needs of the child? If the baby is breastfed and needs to be close to mom or if the baby has separation anxiety and screams and screams when out of sight of the primary caregiver, you may want to consider how this (and any other needs) will impact the schedule.
You should always consider what is best for your child and have his or her best interests in mind as you create your parenting plan and visitation schedule.
You can use Custody X Change to create a temporary child visitation schedule for your own personal use and give yourselves some time to see what works before submitting it to the judge.
One of the things the judge will consider when making a ruling on custody is whether or not the visitation schedule is feasible and executable. A temporary schedule is a proactive approach to having a successful outcome in your custody case.