Infants, Toddlers, and Divorce


Divorce is difficult for children at any age, but parents of babies and toddlers have special issues to consider as they are going through a Pasadena divorce.

Standard every other weekend visitation schedules are designed for school age children. Leaving a parent for the entire weekend can be very hard for an infant or toddler to handle. Even if both parents are open to trying weekend visits, the child may not be able to emotionally handle the separation.

Child development experts have suggested that young children do best when they receive frequent short visits from the noncustodial parent. In some cases, this may even mean daily visits of one or two hours. This can be difficult for parents to coordinate, especially if they both work full-time or live a great distance apart. However, the temporary sacrifice can set the stage for a more productive coparenting relationship during the child's later years.

Nursing can create unique challenges in regards to custody and visitation. In most cases, the fact that a mother is breastfeeding will not be enough to prevent the father from having visits with the child. The court recognizes the medical benefits of breastfeeding, but not at the expense of allowing the child to have a secure relationship with both parents. A nursing mother may be encouraged to pump so that the father can provide a bottle during a short visit. However, if the baby is under three months old, pumping might not be a viable solution due to concerns over "nipple confusion" affecting nursing success.

Extended breastfeeding past the 12-month mark is controversial, so a mother who wishes to limit visitation so that she can continue to nurse past this point is going to face an uphill battle unless the child has special needs that make extended nursing beneficial.

How Can We Help?

Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at if you are the parent of an infant or toddler and need legal representation during your divorce. Our Pasadena family law attorneys are eager to advocate for the needs of both you and your child.