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Psychotherapist Urges Courts To Consider Infants In Child Custody

On behalf of Tasha K. Schaffner of Schaffner Family on Saturday, June 2, 2018.

There has been a concerted effort over the past several years for states to modify their laws in the matter of custody agreements. In fact, Kentucky recently passed a bill that requires judges to consider shared child custody as the default decision unless doing so would be detrimental to a child. However, one child care professional has urged family courts to carefully weigh the matter when it comes to children under the age of two.

According to this woman’s professional experience and approximately 50 years of research, children under the age of two or three do not do well under parenting schedules that allow for overnight visitation. It is this woman’s professional opinion that infants and toddlers benefit most from consistent care provided by their primary caregiver with limited time away. Children who are non-verbal and lack cognitive skills appear to suffer the long-term effects from separation anxiety until they are old enough to understand the process.

The woman used the illustration of a mother leaving a toddler’s room to demonstration the anxiety that youngsters experience when their primary caregiver is out of sight. Studies purportedly show that children who are forced to endure long separation periods experience residue feelings of anxiety that may impact them for the rest of their lives. It was noted, however, that the primary caregiver could be the father or other relative.

Once a child is capable of comprehending the purpose and duration of overnight visits with a non-custodial parent, the psychotherapist suggested that the issue of child custody be revisited. In the majority of the cases, family courts work diligently to ensure that the best interests of the children involved are protected when it comes to approving parenting plans. Kentucky parents who are concerned that their children may not thrive under certain custody arrangements are entitled to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney who can ensure that their children’s needs are the priority.

Source:, “A Letter to the Court “Overnights and other custody/visitation arrangments with divorced or separated parents of infants and toddlers”“, Isabelle Fox, Accessed on May 31, 2018

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