16 answers

Visitation Schedule for Infant

Hello Moms,

After much thought and counseling, my husband of 5 years and I have decided to get a divorce.I have a 3 year old and a 3 month old. My question is I know the standard order of visitation generally applies to children ages 3 and up, do you know what the visitation schedule generally is for an infant? Also being we also have a 3 year old, does this mean they will have to be separated for visitation? I would really like to keep them together for visitation, but do not feel the standard visitation is in their best interest at this age. Has anyone been thru this? If so any and all advice would really help. Thanks.

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I am sorry that you are going through this. I can't imagine that a 3 month old would have the same visitation that a 3 year old would. Especially, if you are breastfeeding. Even if you are not, their schedule is not always the same.

L. - whatever you and you husband agree to can be put in the order and, as long as it is reasonable, will be signed by the judge. It is only when you don't agree that the judge decides. I.e. you never have to do a "standard visitation schedule" (at any age) as long as you both are in agreement as to something else.

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You have a 3 month old girl. Your hormones are going crazy--whatever your relationship is doing. You should not be making important decisions right now.

Don't get a divorce. There are so many options and so many people who want your marriage to succeed. It is awful to be alone with children--whatever your spouse is like.

Don't get a divorce. Just don't. Ask the group about specific problems you are experiencing, check out nogreaterjoy.org and read their articles and books, connect with a group of ladies at a church who want to reach out to you in your needs, pray, wait...

Divorce is life shattering for all involved--especially the kids. It really is. Don't do it.

~A.

1 mom found this helpful

My ex and I separated when I was about 16 wks pregnant with our (now) 3 year old daughter. Our son was almost 3 at the time, and we had been married for 4 years, together for 7. It was hard to come up with the right schedule, especially because I was nursing and none of us wanted to give that up (him, me or the baby). We did a deal where he came over 3 days/week and spent his time (usually a few hours) with the kids in our old house, and I took a nap, a bath, went to the store, etc. Then, on the 1st/3rd/5th weekends, and every Thursday, my son would stay overnight with him at his new place.

As the kids got older, we started having them go over there for his time, and it worked out well. Then, when she was about 2, we started the normal 1/3/5 weekends and every Thursday. I guess she started spending the night there around 12-15 months. Really, I can't remember now, because we gradually worked up to it. He was pretty amicable about the whole thing and knew that they needed me more than him at such a young age. (They still need me more...)

Despite having a completely non-functioning marital relationship, we actually have a pretty good co-parenting relationship, and are pretty good with keeping things consistent and non-inflamatory.

Good luck to you. We've been separated for almost 4 years this summer, so we've been through most of what you're about to - feel free to contact me. best wishes!

C.

1 mom found this helpful

I cannot speak from experience because I only had one son. But I would think that the difference in ages would be a problem for them to visit together. The son needs time with his dad but needs to pitch and run and connect in boy type things and an infant would greatly restrict that bonding. The infant also, needs to see and be around her dad but at this time quite different. I personally would work out a schedule so that they had both together and separate times with dad.
What a tough choice, but I'm sure you will make it work. You do sound like you have spent some time contenplating the situation. Do what the gut and heart tell you.

There is no standard schedule for a 3 month old. Some courts have a standard schedule that they generally use, but every court realizes that all children (and all parents) are different. You should, practically speaking not legally, start helping your husband learn all he can about caring for the baby on his own. Since the two of you are together, you have probably unconsciously divided the duties of child rearing. You should let him have some time when he is solely responsible for both children while you are there to help. This way when he does take both children on his own, you will both feel better about it. This is what is best for your children. The Court is probably going to order a shorter schedule for the infant than the 3 year old. The factors the court will consider include, dad's previous parenting time, his knowledge of pediatricians, etc., his desires for time and yours, breastfeeding, any special medical needs of the child, special diet problems, etc. The separation of the children can often be a good thing. When a trauma happens to a child, a little one on one special time with a parent can be reassuring and good for each child.

D. Kimbriel
Grandma to 2 beautiful boys

I think that it depends on the parents.

My BIL and SIL split up when their son was just 9 months old. My BIL had always been very good with his son, and immediately got the "standard" visitation. He had overnight visitation, and did a great job. He now has extended visitation, and it works well for them.

I know that I don't know the whole story... and this is a general statement, but sometimes, "we all" need to remember that just because we can't stay married to them - doesn't mean that they are a bad parent.

Good Luck to all of you!

The visitation schedule usually depends on the background facts of the situation. A common approach for children under 3 is the have more frequent visits for shorter periods of time with no overnights until age 3. Usually as the child gets closer to age 3 the parenting time is longer.

My ex started seeing my son at 6 months of age, we had been separated since I was 16 wks pregnant.
The divorce wasn't final until 1 month before he turned 1. He started seeing him for 2 hrs on Tues and Thurs as well on 1,3 and 5th Sun, then it gradually went to 4 hrs and 6 hrs then at 1 yr he had his 1st overnight on 1st,3rd and 5th Sun from 4pm until 10am. Visitation hrs went from 4 hrs to 6 at age 18 months, then gradually had him on Sat during the day from 10-4 and sun stayover at 24 months then 2 1/2 yrs he had more time on the weekends and then at 3 he got 1 night stayover during the week and 1st, 3rd and 5th weekend which is supposed to be from Friday 6 until Mon when he takes him to school. My ex fought me for extended visitation but doesn't comply with it. We work it out. I have friends that have different visitations with their younger children if under age 3. All they look at is what is IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD, i personally don't think at under at 2 or even 3 the chid should stay thenight with dad unless he's already used to eat. My son was never around dad and had no stay overs until after we split up.

I hope this helps.

I really like what Claire did. I would also like to say that unless the dad is completely out of touch, then honestly, 50/50 is what you should eventually shoot for. My husband and I almost got divorced when our son was 2.5 and I knew better than to try to convince myself that daddy was any less important to my son than me. Sure there are things that mommy's do better, but there are also things that daddy's do better and a child does best when s/he can get the best out of both parents and I think it's really hard to do that when the NCP is only seeing the child 25-30% of the time.

My daughter was bout 6 months old when we divorced. He could visit her up to 3 nights per week, but no over night visitations until she was a year old. She could not stay with him for more than 2 nights until she was 2. The first "30 day summer" she was supposed to spend with him was when she was 3, but together we decided that she was not ready for that. She spent 15 days first, then another 15 days later. Hope this helps!

I am sorry that you are going through this. I can't imagine that a 3 month old would have the same visitation that a 3 year old would. Especially, if you are breastfeeding. Even if you are not, their schedule is not always the same.

I know that a breastfed baby is not required to spend the night with the father. A friend of mine just went through this.

Hi L.,
I am a family lawyer in Colleyville. I'd be happy to offer you a free consultation with us and we can go over with you the possible scenarios. There is also a website, childreninthemiddle.com that has some good information about co-parenting and visitation schedules.
Good luck, and hang in there.
K. Smith
Attorney at law
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L. - whatever you and you husband agree to can be put in the order and, as long as it is reasonable, will be signed by the judge. It is only when you don't agree that the judge decides. I.e. you never have to do a "standard visitation schedule" (at any age) as long as you both are in agreement as to something else.

If you and your husband can come to an agreement before you go to court that would be the best strategy. Don't think for a second all judges will "do whats in the best interest of the child" I had a judge give my girls to my husband every other week, the ENTIRE week because it was summer, and they were 5, 3, and 1. I'm sorry but no 1 yr old baby is ready to be taken from the only person that's ever cared for them for a whole week at a time!! He pulled some BS lie about how involved he was in their life and wanted to be there, when he was only around them for a few hrs every evening when we were married. And what was worse, they had to sit with a baby sitter during those weeks while I was home completely available to care for my own kids. Luckily for us my husband and I got back together before the divorce became final. In basic answer to your question the "general" standard is that the primary parent can ask to not let the child go for over nights until the age of 3. You would have pick up and drop off time thursdays, and every 1st 3rd and 5th saturday and sunday. Good luck.

Lacy good morning. Sorry to hear what your going thru. I went thru a divorce when my daughter was an Infant and I was nursing, so visitation was totally different till she became of age for standard. And it was different for me because i was nursing. You have two small children and I believe the judge would give both children the same time especially since your youngest is still an infant. They will not separate the babies just because ones a lil older. My ex-husband received only a couple of hours a few days out of the week. No overnights, or weekend visits. Wish you many blessings with that. Don't freak out. so far the court would be in your favor because of the age of the children. Take care!

My daughter just went to court last month about support and visitation for her 4 year old and 6 week old daughters.

When they went to mediation, the standard every 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekend visitation was suggested which she did not thing was appropriate to the situation especially with the baby.

They did not get agreement on terms, so they went to court. At the court date, the terms were very simply put that visitation is what the mother and father determine by mutual agreement. If there is no agreement, the mother prevails.

I like this arrangement. It encourages the parents to really co-parent and work on their communication for the sake of the children.

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