On behalf of South Tampa Law Group posted in child custody on Thursday, June 7, 2018.
In the early years of a child’s life, many mothers choose to breastfeed instead of offering formula to the child. In the event of a divorce, joint child custody may affect a woman’s ability to breastfeed the child. Florida parents may be wondering, does my child’s breastfeeding affect how child custody will be decided?
In the past, when parents separated and the child was under 3 years of age, the physical custody typically went to the mother. These days, courts prefer that the parents decide together how custody will be shared. In some states, courts must consider breastfeeding in the child custody equation, but in other locations, it may or may not affect the court’s decision.
Sometimes, overnight visits may be limited if the child is breastfeeding and is under 1 year old. When the child is older, however, a court may find that the mother uses breastfeeding as a way to restrict the father’s ability to see and care for the child. In those cases, a court could recommend pumping or weaning instead of limiting a father’s right to joint custody.
In Florida, a child custody plan may take your child’s breastfeeding habits into the equation. An individual and his or her co-parent will have to weigh the best interests of the child in regard to breastfeeding versus a healthy relationship with both parents. Making such a decision with an ex-partner can be tough. Some people will enlist the help of an experienced family law attorney for support and guidance on their child’s custody needs.