My 3 month old baby lives with me (the mother) and is breast fed only. She refuses to take a bottle. Can someone please tell me what I should be prepared for as far as custody or visitation with her father?
Unfortunately there is no "typical" arrangement when it comes to child custody. The Courts are determined to do what is in the best interests of the child. Typically, the Courts take a position to share custody between the parties, unless there is an interest which favors primary custody with one parent over the other. In your situation, a child refusing a bottle and only breast-feeding would be in your advantage.
In a typical custody setting, the Court appoints a custody conciliator to meet with the parties to try to "work out" an arrangement without the Court being involved. The meeting is meant to be "negotiating" in a way, but nothing HAS to be agreed to. If you are unsatisfied with the agreement, you have the right to appeal it to the Judge, where a full trial is held, including testimony of witnesses and entering evidence. After that, the decision is solely in the hands of the Judge.
Realize to that any custody determination can be modified at any time until the child is 18 (or graduates high school and is emancipated, whichever occurs earlier). So, if you agree to something and later it doesn't work or has difficulties for the child, either party can file to modify the arrangement. So, if you don't get the "perfect" arrangement in your eyes (although may be good for your child) there is always the ability to seek a change down the road.
I would suggest you speak with an experienced attorney to discuss the matter with you. All the best.
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You should meet with an attorney who practices in Clearfield county so that he/she can give you an idea as to how their courts handle custody arrangements when the mother is nursing. Typically, if the mother cannot pump, the father will have short term visits at times that do not interfere with feedings. However, as the child gets older, you will be expected to pump and provide the father with frozen milk for his custody periods. How long this practice will continue depends on the facts of each case and differs with each Judge.
My response is based solely on the limited information contained in the question. It is not meant to substitute your attorney's advice.
There is no such thing as a "typical' custody arrangement. However, it may be useful to look at it from the standpoint of each parent having equal rights to custody. One parent will need to have primary custody, to provide the child with a consistent home during the school week, with the other parent having weekend visitation -often alternate weekends. Such events as holidays, birthdays and other events special to the family are also frequently allocated on an alternating basis. However, there are many individual facctors that can change this equasion. The parents are also free to agree to any arangement that they wish. In your situation, the baby's need related to nursing would be an important consideration but that changes as the child becomes less dependent on nursing. You should arrange a consultation with a family lawyer to discuss your options.
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