A young child plan is a certain type of custody plan that is put in place by some Judges when the child at issue in a custody case is very young or has not spent meaningful time with one of the two parents, which in most cases is the father. A young child plan is also a rare example of a situation where a Judge is allowed to order a custody plan to change or be modified at some date in the future rather than coming back to Court.
The idea behind a young child plan is to allow for the minor child to bond with the primary caretaker, while acclimating the child to the other parent with short, frequent visitations. This is usually set up in the form of 3 to 5 visits per week of a couple hours at a time with the minor child. The frequent visits allow the minor child to remember the other parent and become quickly used to being around that parent. The plan generally self-adjusts based on the child’s age, increasing the length of visits every 6 to 12 months until the child is somewhere between the age of 3 to 5.
While there are many supporters of the young child plan, there are also many people that feel it is an unfair custody arrangement, typically for fathers. Being that the plan does require the non-custodial parent to be patient and flexible, it is incredibly important to find an attorney that is aware of which Judges favor the young child plan and which Judges are less inclined to follow it.