Firstly the term ‘custody’ is not used in Australia any more. Secondly, although in this case it would be unlikely that your child does not live with you, when it comes to family law parenting matters, nothing is automatic. There are many factors that the court will take into consideration when deciding on whether your child should live with you or with the father.
Breastfeeding During The Court Process
In order for the court to determine that your child should live with you, you will need to show that it is unsafe for you to stop breastfeeding. In many cases, this will require evidence from professionals, including:
- Your baby’s doctor
- Lactation experts
In addition, you will need to submit this evidence to the court. The evidence must show that it is unsafe for you to stop breastfeeding your child. Safety risks can impact you or your child. Here are a few examples of the types of risks you might show.
- How breastfeeding directly impacts your child’s health
- Consequences of stopping breastfeeding abruptly
- How breastfeeding promotes bonding between mother and child
- Complications of storing a sufficient supply of breast milk
Without the proper evidence, the opposing side could claim (and the court could agree) that breastfeeding benefits only you, and not the child.
Clearly, your child’s age will play a factor in the decision. The Australian Breastfeeding Association makes the following points:
- Breastmilk is the normal food for babies
- There are health risks for infants who are not breastfed
- Breastfeeding must be exclusive to achieve the full benefit of its protective effects
It is never safe to assume that child parenting orders will automatically be awarded no matter what the circumstance. Talk to a lawyer experienced in dealing with children and parenting issues to discuss the details of your case before going to the Family Court of Western Australia. This way, you know what to expect, will have a plan, and can anticipate the possible arguments against you having your child live with you.
Information on facts about breastfeeding is available from the Australian Breastfeeding Association website at https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bf-info/breastfeeding-and-law/continuing-breastfeeding-after-separation-and-divorce