Regardless of how old a child is, both parents generally get to play a role in his or her life. However, when the child is still an infant, there can be a variety of actors that come into play as it relates to creating a visitation schedule. For example, if a mother is still breastfeeding, it may not be possible for a father to have regular overnight visitation. Of course, the parents could agree to use formula in lieu of a mother’s milk.
People could also determine that an overnight visitation with the noncustodial parents is ideal for enabling custodial parents to catch up on their sleep. The other parent benefits because it provides more time to bond with his or her child. It is worth noting that courts may not allow or require overnight visits until a son or daughter gets past the infant stage.
For some parents, longer visits may make it easier to learn what their child needs from them. For example, parents may be able to discern the difference between a cry for attention and one for food. Regardless of how a parenting plan is crafted, it is important that there is a set routine in place. Children typically have a greater need for stability and predictability during their first few years.
In most cases, child custody and visitation decisions are made with an eye toward doing what is in the child’s best interest. People who are embroiled in a custody or visitation dispute may want to discuss their options with an attorney. While parents can resolve disputes on their own, a judge may have to approve any agreement that is made. However, judges tend to defer to the parents’ wishes as long as the terms are reasonable in a given situation.