When Colorado parents are not together when a child is born, there are immediate issues about the visitation schedule for the infant. The realities of the situation will likely mean that there is a different schedule when the child is very young than there will be as they grow older. The parents may need to start with small steps at first.

What’s in the child’s best interests?

The best way to start off visitation is with shorter visits. It is vital for both parents to spend time with the infant. Yet it is also important for the child to acclimate to life, including learning how to feed and sleep. To the extent that these aims can be synthesized, it is in the best interests of the child. While overnight visits would be ideal, they are not always practical at first. The court will generally not order overnight visits until the child is three. However, the parents are free to agree on them before then if the child is able, and this can be helpful.

There are additional challenges if the mother is breastfeeding. Ideally, there should be ways to accommodate the father’s time with the infant. Breastfeeding should not be used as a way to keep the father out of the child’s life. However, there are legitimate concerns to address regarding feeding the child when the mother is away.

Resolving disputes

If the parents cannot agree on their own about a visitation schedule, a child custody lawyer can help their client advocate for their position. It would be best to have a formal agreement that becomes part of a court order since that will protect everyone involved. The lawyer may help their client negotiate that agreement. If the two parties cannot reach an understanding, the attorney could take their client’s case to the judge for the court’s intervention.

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