1,647. Must a Divorcee Nurse?

Hilchos Ishus 21:16

If a woman is divorced, she cannot be required to nurse; if she chooses to, her ex-husband must pay her for the service. If she doesn’t choose to nurse, she should give the child to his father to raise. This is the case when she didn’t nurse the child long enough for him to recognize her; if the child recognizes his mother, even if blind, then they should not be separated because of the potential damage to the child. In this case, the woman is required to nurse the child for pay until the age of 24 months.

Hilchos Ishus 21:17

A man is not required to support his ex-wife, even if she is nursing his child. However, in addition to paying her for nursing, he must provide what the child needs in the way of clothes, food, drink, ointments, etc. A pregnant woman is not entitled to anything from her ex-husband. After the 24 months of nursing have been completed and the child is weaned, if the woman wants the child to stay with her, he is not removed until he completes six years. In such a case, the father is obligated to support the child while he lives with his mother. After the sixth year, the father has the right to say that he will support the child only if he receives custody and not if the child continues to live with his mother. This is only the case with a son; a mother is given perpetual custody of a daughter, even after the age of six.