I have recently become a Father and I spend a lot of time amazed at how my daughter changes every day. Those changes mean that her needs continue to change and grow, and paying attention to those changes is part of effective parenting.
Every case is different, especially when it comes to family dynamics, so every case requires your attorney to listen and learn about YOUR family. Because every family is so different, there cannot be specific guidelines on custody and visitation for every family or even every child.
The Court does try to recognize that their are certain developmental stages that each child goes through, and that it is important for both parents to be involved in the child's life for their development to be complete, and also that at each stage, a child's needs are different.
In an attempt to recognize at least some generalities in these differences, a committee of mental health practitioners, family law lawyers and Judges was formed. They wrote a very useful guide to shared parenting called Planning for Shared Parenting: A Guide for Parents Living Apart. Our firm recommends that any parent involved in a custody case read this brochure and use it as a starting point for thinking about and discussing how their child's unique needs can be met by a well-thought out and tailored Parenting Plan, and how that Parenting Plan will have to change as the child grows older.