The New Mother’s Guide to Newborn and Infant Visitation Schedules

If you are a first time mother and separated from your baby’s father, you may not even know where to begin dealing with custody issues.

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The good news is that in most states an unwed mother is considered to be the natural custodian of the child. This means that unless your ex goes to court and files for custody, you have sole custody of your baby.

Many states require that fathers establish paternity before they can get custody of or visitation with a child. You may want to check out the laws pertaining to child custody and visitation where you live.

Sometimes paternity can be established if both parents agree that the man is the father. It might be established when the father signs the birth certificate. Some states require DNA testing. The rules for establishing paternity vary from state to state.

Once paternity is established, your custody case can begin. You will quickly learn that unless you and your ex are able to present the judge with a mutually agreed upon parenting plan and infant visitation schedule, you are going to have to return to court several times. The custody process may take months or even years to complete.

One of the things the judge considers when making a custody ruling is which parent is more likely to allow the other parent to have access to the child. If you are able to demonstrate to the court that you created a temporary newborn visitation schedule that allowed your ex to spend time with the baby it will show the court that you care about your child. The court will appreciate your willingness to allow the other parent to be in the child’s life.

When you create your visitation schedule you should make sure that your ex is available to visit the baby on the days and times you list in the plan. The best way to do this is to work with your ex and try to figure something out. Choose visitation times that are convenient for both of you and that won’t disrupt the baby’s schedule.

Babies should be afforded the opportunity to bond with the other parent. Many experts agree that shorter yet more frequent visits are better for babies. It would be far more advantageous for the baby to see the other parent four times a week for two hours at a time than for one eight hour visit per week. Frequency is much more important than the duration of a visit when it applies to babies.

If your ex fails to show up for the visits you should keep track of what really happens. The judge will be very interested to know if he only came two out of the eight assigned visits in a two week period. The judge isn’t going to look very favorably on a parent that is disinterested in their own child.

If your ex shows up to every visit without fail—consider yourself lucky that your little one has a good and loving father. Parenting isn’t only a right, it is a responsibility. Sometimes life is unpredictable and unforeseen events may interfere with visitation. Missing one visit doesn’t mean he is a horrible father. The problem occurs when this behavior becomes a pattern.

If you can set your differences aside and create a parenting plan and child visitation schedule that focuses on what is best for your baby, you will have a solid foundation on which your future schedules will be based.

Your visitation schedule will need to be modified as your child grows and his or her needs change. Maintaining a professional approach to dealing with the other parent now should prove to work out for you in the long run.

Custody X Change is software that creates professional parenting plan documents and parenting schedules.

Make Your Schedule and Plan Now

Custody X Change is software that creates professional parenting plan documents and parenting schedules.

Make Your Plan