CHILD CUSTODY OVERVIEW
If you’ve found yourself in a legal issue, our skilled legal team can handle even the most complex issues. Get the advantage for your situation, call us now to better understand your options. Our goal is to counsel you, from start to finish, so you understand the specifics of your situation and help guide you in the right direction. Call us now: 260.426.0545
CHILD CUSTODY RIGHTS
Child custody issues deal with the “best interest” of the child. The Court presumes that both parents are equal in their parenting abilities. The court must determine in its discretion, what is in the “best interest” of the child taking under consideration the following factors and all other relevant factors:
- Age and sex of the child;
- The desire of each of the child’s parents;
- The wishes of the child. More consideration is given to the wishes of a child fourteen (14) years of age and older;
- The interaction and interrelationship of the child with each of the child’s parents, brothers and sisters, and any other people who may significantly affect the child’s best interest (this includes girlfriends and boyfriends);
- The adjustment of the child to his or her home, school and community (this includes the child’s friends in the neighborhood, church, etc.);
- The mental and physical health of all people involved with the child; and
- Any evidence of domestic violence by either parent.
There are two (2) types of custody:
- “Sole legal custody” grants one parent total decision making regarding the child’s religion, education and medical (non-emergency) decisions.
- “Joint legal custody” means both parents have equal rights to the decisions dealing with the child’s religion, education and medical treatment. In other words, both parents must agree to a change of schools, churches, doctors and whether non-emergency medical and dental treatment can be done. If the parents cannot agree, the court may have to make the decision. If that becomes necessary, the court usually destroys the joint custody arrangement and grants only one parent soul legal custody.
At our firm, we will sit down with you and go over the facts of your case and give you an opinion of your chances of getting custody and what you can do to improve your chances of getting custody.
CHILD VISITATION ISSUES
Every parent is entitled to visitation which the court now calls “parenting time”. Our Supreme Court has instituted the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines as its minimum parenting time order. This can be found at http://www.in.gov\judiciary\rules\parenting. It basically gives the non-custodial parent alternate weekends, an evening per week, alternate holidays and extended parenting time in the summer.
ENFORCING VISITATION RIGHTS
Some parents have a problem with the other parent interfering with parenting time – being late, not allowing it or constantly calling or planning events on the other parent’s time. We can help enforce your rights.
We often hear of complaints that one parent tries to dictate to the other parent what their parenting time will be. You have alternatives to enforce your parenting time. We may be able to get you a temporary restraining order which would restrain a parent from interfering with your parenting time and/or we can file a contempt of court action against them. Either of these alternatives may result in the person disobeying a court order to spend time in jail, pay attorney fees and/or giving “make up” parenting time equal to what the parent has lost. Our job is to help our clients enforce their legally granted parenting time.
MODIFICATION OF VISITATION
Also, just because the court has ordered a specific parenting time schedule as to the amount of days and times, a person can always return to court and request the court modify that order and increase or decrease parenting time if doing so is in the best interest of the child.
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Monroeville, IN 46773
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Decatur, IN 46733