When parents aren’t living together as a child’s birth approaches, the family may benefit from having pre-birth orders spelling out what will happen at the hospital and beyond. Pre-birth orders sought in Massachusetts help preserve a calm environment for the child’s arrival and keep the hospital from having to play referee between the parents. Pre-birth orders can allocate authority for medical decisions starting from birth, ensure that both parents have a chance to hold the baby and enjoy opportunities for bonding, and include a plan for the baby’s care on release from the hospital.
When a baby is premature or has serious medical problems after birth, there may not be enough time to get emergency court orders. Pre-birth orders may also be invaluable to ensure that a father, for example, has a chance to see and hold a baby who may not survive.
When representing the father, deciding whether and how to raise the question of a pre-birth parenting plan requires balancing risks. It takes great care to ensure that any negotiations, mediation, or litigation during pregnancy is conducted in the most gracious, respectful fashion possible under the circumstances. But without an order, an expectant father may not even know when the mother goes into labor or when his child is born.
Pre-birth custody and parenting plan orders can also benefit people other than an unwed father. They’re being used by same-sex couples and other non-traditional family relationships when there’s a need to establish parentage before birth. Pre-birth orders in surrogacy cases may require awarding legal and physical custody to the intended parents.
It’s never too early to plan smooth child custody and parenting plan arrangements. Contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar either through telephone 978-844-4095 or email to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation to discuss your options.