Creating Shared Custody Schedules for Infants

How do I make a shared custody schedule for my infant?

You can create a custody and visitation schedule on your own, with the other parent or with a legal professional. If you don't want to pay the high cost of a lawyer, the Custody X Change app can guide you through the process of creating a schedule.

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Do I need a shared custody schedule for my infant?

You don't need to have a shared custody schedule. Whether you should have a shared custody schedule depends on what's best for your infant. Unless it can be proven that time with the other parent is not in the infant's best interest, you will need a parenting schedule that gives both of you the chance to bond with your infant.

If your baby is accustomed to living in a home with both parents, a shared custody schedule may be ideal. Consistency is important for an infant. Without it, they become anxious and may become distant from the parent they aren't living with. You should strive to maintain the healthy bonds a baby creates at this fragile time in their development.

If one parent hasn't been involved, you can work up to a shared custody schedule. Start with a couple of visits every week. Over time, you can gradually increase the length and frequency of visits until you have a shared custody schedule.

Custody software like Custody X Change can help you find a fair, workable schedule that fits your baby's needs. Browse schedule templates to find an arrangement or create a schedule from scratch.

What are the benefits of a shared custody schedule for an infant?

A shared custody schedule allows both parents to have ample involvement in the infant's life. This allows the infant to bond with both and begin to trust them.

A shared custody schedule can help your infant adjust to spending time in two households. They'll become accustomed to their surroundings and more comfortable with each parent as both parents provide them with frequent love and care. They'll get to spend time with each parent at various times of the day and have similar experiences with both.

Shared schedules also benefit parents. Spending more time with your infant allows you to learn their nonverbal cues so you can better provide for their needs. Plus, you'll get to witness the infant's milestones. When caretaking duties are more equally shared, parents get more time to decompress so they're not constantly overwhelmed by the big task of caring for an infant.

Raising a child together when you are divorced is complicated, especially when it comes to following a parenting schedule. Make sure your schedule is easily accessible to both parents. When both parents are on the same page about visitations, there are fewer opportunities for miscommunication.

What should I include in my shared custody schedule for infants?

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. Place the infant's physical and emotional development above your and the other parent's desires.

Make sure your custody schedule supports these critical infant needs:

  • Predictable and stable routines
  • Frequent contact with both parents
  • Similiar care routines in both homes (feeding, changing, bathing and comforting)
  • Familiar items in both homes
  • Slow and gradual transition into new situations or schedules

There isn't a one-size-fits-all shared custody schedule. Work together to create a schedule that meets your 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.

What should I avoid in my shared custody schedule for infants?

To ensure stability and consistency in your infant's life, avoid creating a shared custody schedule with elements that could impair your baby's health and development.

Avoid the following:

  • Schedules that prevent establishing a stable daily routine
  • Long separations from either parent
  • Exchanges during the infant's feeding or napping time
  • Inconsistent exchange times
  • Radical changes to the infant's schedule

A shared custody schedule doesn't mean parents will have equal time. It's common for the baby to have one residence where they spend more time, usually with the parent who has provided most caretaking duties at that point. You can work toward a more even parenting time distribution as the baby matures.

Should I include overnights in my shared custody schedule for infants?

Child development experts once agreed that overnight stays with a secondary caretaker were inappropriate for infants. Now, some experts view overnights as necessary to the child's healthy development.

Overnights allow the parent who spends less time with the infant to perform caretaking duties. Feeding, changing, putting the baby down for naps and soothing them when they cry are all vital to developing a connection. The baby begins to trust the parent as the parent reliably provide for their needs. The increased parenting time also makes the parent a regular fixture instead of a stranger.

Monitor your infant closely if you decide to implement overnights in your shared custody schedule. You may start by allowing the other parent to care for the baby overnight in the primary household. This helps the baby get used to the parent performing nightly caretaking duties for them, and the parent gets some practice. Eventually, you can move to overnights at the other parent's home.

A few situations that may make overnight stays suitable 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 provided care 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

Custody X Change makes it easy to add overnights to your schedule and track how many overnights each parent has within the year. The number of overnights may impact child support amounts.

How can a shared custody schedule for infants reduce my legal fees?

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. You can turn to a legal professional for the issues you don't agree on or don't fully understand instead of relying on them for everything.

Parents often get into arguments over not getting enough parenting time, which can land them in court. When you agree to a shared custody schedule, you agree that it's best for your infant to spend as much time with each parent as is healthy.

A shared custody schedule may also reduce the need to return to court to make changes. It's often easier for parents who've already negotiated a schedule to discuss and implement changes. Courts prefer that parents resolve parenting issues on their own. The court is likely to approve of your agreement so long as the terms are in the best interest of your infant.

Save on legal fees by using a software program like Custody X Change. Our software helps you choose a schedule, propose changes, and see what it will look like in a calendar. This can help you create a shared custody schedule that is beneficial for your infant and fair to both parents without breaking the bank.

The easiest way to make a shared custody schedule for infants

Creating a schedule on your own can feel overwhelming. You have to be sure to use airtight legal language and can't omit any required information.

The Custody X Change app takes the guesswork out of the equation by helping you build a schedule piece by piece.

As a result, you get a written schedule and a visual calendar. They meet your family's needs, as well as the court's standards.

For quick, reliable and affordable help making a custody schedule, turn to Custody X Change.

Visualize your schedule. Get a written parenting plan. Calculate your parenting time.

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