If I’m nursing my child, will I get automatic custody of the baby?

Don’t automatically assume that because you have a breastfeeding child that you are guaranteed child custody. It’s ultimately the decision of the court in your Virginia divorce whether or not it is safe to separate a mother and her breastfeeding child.

The court will need to be provided with evidence that the mother and breastfeeding child need to continue nursing after your Virginia divorce. Citing testimonial and expert opinion from pediatricians, lactation experts and child psychologists are excellent means of proving your necessity for child custody.

Some evidence the court will want to take into consideration for determining whether or not it’s safe to separate a breastfeeding child and their mother include:

  • the importance of breastfeeding for infant health;
  • the difficulty and trauma of abrupt weaning;
  • the bonding between a parent and child through breastfeeding; and
  • the limitations and complications of pumping and storing breast milk.

Many courts will try to cite the claim of “I’m breastfeeding, so the child needs to remain in my custody” as a mother being overly attached. Often it will be brought into question when an appropriate weaning age is, or if the child will be fine switching to formula. You will want to work with your Virginia divorce attorney to help present expert testimony, such as from your pediatrician, why many of these claims are false.

It is important to have a women’s divorce lawyer on your side that understands how difficult it is on both mother and breastfeeding child to be separated. The attorneys at Hofheimer Family Law Firm have experienced many cases with this issue and they can help your Virginia divorce terms reflect what’s best for your child. Contact us today to schedule a legal consultation – (757) 425-5200.