Child custody and visitation can be difficult for St. Tammany Parish parents who have ended their relationship. Multiple factors must be considered as they determine where the child will live, how the visitation schedule will be organized and what to do if there are disagreements. If the child is a newborn, it can be even more complex.
There are fundamental ways to ensure the child’s best interests are served. Parents who have just had their first child will be learning on the fly. Understanding when the child is crying due to hunger, because of tiredness or pain are all key parts of the learning process. Regarding visitation, having specific schedules such as one parent has the child during the workweek and the other for weekends might not be optimal for a newborn. Shorter visits held more often could be better. An example might be 30 minutes up to four times per week for the noncustodial parent. Then it can increase incrementally.
Once the comfort level has improved, overnight visits can be incorporated. This allows the noncustodial parent expanded time to share with the child. It can also give the custodial parent a rest from the stress of caring for a baby. Still, the court will have a say in whether this is viable and overnight visits could be limited until the child reaches a specific age. Providing the child with necessary nutrition is essential. For a breastfeeding mother, this can be problematic. Deciding if formula is sufficient while the child is with the other parent, a willingness to pump breastmilk, and overcoming fears and insecurities about being apart from the child must all be considered.
Parents of newborns will have a lot on their plate. The relationship coming to an end amid demands of nurturing a newborn can be worrisome. Receiving guidance, having adequate protections and getting sufficient visitation to forge a relationship with the child are all vital aspects of a case. From the perspective of the custodial and noncustodial parent, advice from a law firm experienced in child custody and visitation may help.