Custody and Breastfeeding

In Pennsylvania, a judge recently ordered a mother to stop breastfeeding so that the father could have overnights with their 10-month old child.  Click here for the link to the story at

Could this happen in California?  If the parents cannot agree to a custody and visitation (or timeshare) schedule, the Court will make a decision.

In making custody and visitation decisions, the Court is required to look at the “best interest of the child” (Family Code Section 3011) and to “assure that children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents…”  (Family Code Section 3020).  In reviewing a child’s best interest, the Court must consider the “health, safety, and welfare of the child.” Family Code Section 3011(a).  Though breastfeeding is not explicitly listed in the statute, it certainly falls within broader reach of the 3011(a) considerations.

If you have legal questions about the appropriate timeshare for a breastfeeding child (or any child), you should speak to a qualified family law attorney.