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Knoxville Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Child Custody > Parenting Plans for the Parents of Newborns

Parenting Plans for the Parents of Newborns


Every parent knows that babies, in their first few months of life, drastically change their families’ daily schedules.  Rather than being clearly divided into day and night, a 24-our period with a newborn is a blur of round-the-clock feedings with diaper changes after almost every feeding, an endless cycle of fussing and soothing.  Even the most ambitious and organized parents must adjust their work schedules to care for a newborn baby, at least for the few months until the baby is old enough to go to daycare.  Working out a schedule when there is a new baby involved is a challenge even for happily married with an excellent track record for communicating with each other, to say nothing of parents who have already separated.  Tennessee parenting plans are detailed enough that each family can adapt them to the family’s own needs, including scheduling short visits on several days per week, instead of one parent staying with the child during the weekdays and the other staying with him or her on the weekend.  If you and your ex-partner need to formalize a parenting plan for your infant, contact a Tennessee child custody attorney.

A Pint-Sized Parenting Plan for a Small Child

The Tennessee parenting plan has two objectives: to allocate a certain amount of time per year to each parent, setting a schedule for visits and transportation, and to determine which child-related decisions the parents must make jointly and which ones are up to the discretion of each parent.  In parenting plans for school-aged children, most of the disagreement relates to where children will spend their school vacations; it’s hard to travel during Thanksgiving break when the children must be transferred from one parent to the other on the evening of Black Friday.  With newborns, it is normal for Dad to have a two-hour visit with the baby every weekday evening and a brunch time on weekends.  It is almost always necessary to modify the parenting plan once the child enters daycare or preschool.

The Jack of All Trades, the Work at Home Mom, and the Baby

Rachel and Julian, the parents of Grace, dated but never lived together.  Julian filed a declaration of paternity and took a DNA paternity test as soon as Grace was born, and the court ordered a parenting plan when she was seven months old.  Julian had 90-minute visits with Grace six days per week.  The visits took place in the nursery in Rachel’s house, since Grace was vulnerable to infections because of her premature birth and low birth weight; she was also exclusively breast fed.  The parents’ efforts to modify the parenting plan and child support were complex, since each parent wanted to impute income to the other; Rachel was a lawyer who had drastically reduced her work hours since Grace’s birth, and Julian lived rent-free in his mother’s condominium while making a living by playing the bagpipes and offering home maintenance services for barter.  In a new parenting plan executed when Grace was a toddler, Julian still had frequent visits that lasted approximately six hours each, for a total of about 85 days of parenting time per year.

Contact an Attorney Today for Help

When co-parenting infants, sometimes brief daily visits are the best option.  Contact Knoxville child custody attorney Patrick L. Looper for a consultation.




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