wheaton divorce lawyerThe birth of a child is often cause for celebration, and many parents find that their relationship grows stronger as they work together to raise their child. Unfortunately, however, some parents decide that their marriage is no longer working soon after their child is born. Getting a divorce when you have an infant or toddler can be especially hard, and it is important to think carefully about your child’s needs and best interests as you work to resolve divorce issues.

How Does Divorce Affect Infants and Toddlers?

Children under the age of three will not understand the reasons for a divorce, and research suggests that they may not even form lasting memories of the events surrounding the divorce. However, because these years are so important to a child’s development, divorce can still affect them significantly. Hurtful conflict between parents and constant interruptions to the child’s routine can cause trauma with effects that resurface as the child gets older. There may also be more immediately noticeable effects. For example, your child may become more dependent on you or the other parent or regress in their development with regard to sleep routines and potty training.

Parental Responsibility and Child Support Considerations

Often, the best way to support your infant or toddler throughout the divorce process is to commit to working together with your spouse to create a parenting plan that considers their best interests. Consistency is especially important for young children, so it may be best to create a parenting time schedule in which your child mostly stays with one parent while the other parent has scheduled visitation time.

A child’s health is also extremely important at such a young age, and you and your spouse should decide how you will both continue to be involved in important decisions about your child’s care. This includes allocating decision-making authority, as well as establishing expectations for communication between the two of you. You should also ensure that your child support order adequately addresses any expenses related to your child’s health care in the first few years of their life.

Planning for Modifications

The needs and best interests of an infant or toddler are very different from the needs of an elementary-aged child or adolescent, and this means that it will likely be important to modify your parenting agreement over time. For example, you might reallocate parenting time once your child reaches an age when they are more comfortable with exchanges between homes, or revisit your plans for making decisions about your child’s education and extracurricular activities. It is a good idea to establish a framework for future modifications when you create your initial parenting plan.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

A divorce can be challenging for parents of children of all ages, and you need an attorney who understands the unique issues you might face based on your current situation. At Davi Law Group, we can help you create a parenting plan and resolve disputes related to parenting time and parental responsibilities to ensure that your child’s needs are met. For a free consultation, contact a Wheaton, IL family law attorney at 630-580-6373.






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