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Overnight visits and the father-child relationship

Many parents are able to use basic co-parenting guidelines to set up the visitation schedule after a divorce in Clinton Township, Michigan. Judges consider the best interests of the child, which includes enough time with each parent to develop a healthy bond. When it comes to infants, common wisdom does not necessarily treat both parents as equal. However, according to Psychology Today, the parenting plan should not exclude overnight visits for the father.

Research supports the idea that an infant forms a close attachment to both parents, rather than a single primary attachment. This bond is facilitated by overnight visits with the father. When the parenting plan does not take this into account, it could threaten the well-being of the child and reduce the chance of a strong paternal relationship. 

Psychology Today explains that one reason overnight visits are so critical to the parent-child bond is the opportunities that arise for nurturing activities during bedtime and morning routines. Soothing, snuggling and bathing are three such activities that build stronger bonds between parents and very young children.

Studies indicate that replicating the caregiving schedule and routines each parent had with their child before the separation should be the goal. When breastfeeding is a factor in creating a visitation plan, fathers should be supportive of this important bonding opportunity between the mother and infant. However, mothers should recognize that the baby’s health is tied up in his or her attachment to the father as well, and be willing to compromise where possible for the best interests of the child.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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