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How can parents in Arizona effectively share custody of small children?

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | Children

Some parents have very few variables to account for in their custody arrangements. They have older children who spend most of their time at school and in pursuit of extracurricular activities. They can easily divide weeknights, weekends and school breaks in accordance with the overall division of parenting time established in their custody orders.

Other parents have children who are still young and who require around-the-clock care. These parents may find it much more difficult to settle on a schedule that prioritizes the children while helping maintain the bonds of both parents. While older children may adjust to any number of different custody arrangements, younger children require much more consideration and planning for parents to share custody effectively.

A parent who has parenting time at any given moment either needs to be available for the children consistently or have reliable childcare arrangements. There may be concerns about the children’s bond with the parents and their ability to work. Due to all of these complexities, how can parents effectively share custody of children who are not yet old enough to go to school?

Smaller children usually need shorter visits

The best-case time-sharing scenario for many families is an even split of parenting time. However, that may only be realistic after the children in the family reach a certain age. Young children need to maintain a strong bond with their primary caregiver.

Their inability to understand time and object permanence means that the other parent may have to accept limited visits initially followed by short overnight stays. Frequent, shorter visits are often better for preserving the bond with the primary caregiver and developing the bond with the other parent. The more involved they can be in different aspects of an infant’s routine, the more they solidify their bond. Toddlers can tolerate more overnights, but they still require regular contact with both parents for optimal bonding.

It can be very challenging for those with young children to successfully share custody, but creating a schedule based on a child’s developmental needs can be a good starting point. Being realistic and centering on the children’s needs can lead to the best possible solutions for sharing parenting time when people have infants and toddlers in their families.

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