Divorce Lawyer Offers Tips for Shared Parenting of Babies
Divorce can be hard not just for the adults involved in the process but
upon the children who are affected by their parents’ separation.
While older children may understand a little better what is happening,
particularly if their friends have faced a similar situation, smaller
children may face greater feelings of abandonment if one parent is no
longer in their lives.
If you are currently facing separation or a divorce, it is important to
establish effective shared
parenting practices which are in the best interest of the children. Although shared
parenting is important no matter the age of the child, the following are
some tips for the shared parenting of babies as established by the Massachusetts
Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) when parents are
It is important to understand that babies cannot be away from either parent
for an extended period of time if meaningful relationships are to be built
with both parents. For example, babies up to nine months old should visit
with the non-residential parent several times each week, and the child
should not be away from either parent for more than a few days at a time.
If the child has a preferred caregiver, extended separation from that
parent should be avoided, even if this is difficult for the other parent.
When the non-residential parent has not previously been involved in the
child’s care, visits should be for several hours every few days
throughout the week. The length of visits can be increased if the parent
already has a good relationship with the child or as that relationship develops.
Communication between parents about their baby is also essential. This
may require setting aside your own pride and making the effort to get
along with your divorced or separated spouse for the good of your child
(or children). A daily log can be created which can be exchanged depending
upon which parent is currently caring for the child. This log should include
sleeping, eating, diapering, and other developments for the baby.
If your divorce is affecting a child older than a few months old, we encourage
you to view the tips offered by the
AFCC so you can more effectively parent your child or children even when you
are living in different households. Of course, these tips might need to
be adapted if there are distance issues, problems of abuse, or other issues
which make regular interaction with both parents unrealistic.
If you find yourself in need of a
divorce lawyer to help you through the process,
contact us. At the Law Office of Robert W. Kovacs, we have assisted hundreds of families
through their divorce proceedings. We understand families are important,
and we will work for what is best for you as well as your children.