Factors Determining Who Gets Child Custody in Indiana

Child custody is a very serious legal matter for the Indiana court system. Family court judges take their charge seriously when making decisions regarding where a minor child will be living after the divorce becomes final. Even temporary custody is a serious legal matter. When it comes to custody, the court becomes the lawyer for kids. Even though courts encourage divorcing parents to develop a parenting plan going forward after the separation, the court will still evaluate specific elements of the case according to divorce law in Indiana before making a final ruling. Here are the primary issues family court judges will consider. 

Age of the child

 The age of the child is a fundamental aspect of child custody assignment. Dependent children approaching their teen years have typically already progressed to independent thinking. However, those 10 years or younger will have specific emotional and physical needs while still in the early developmental stage. 

Health considerations

 While this is generally not an issue, there are still families with special needs children that must allow for proper healthcare and maintenance for the child. Health concerns can also impact other aspects of divorce. These include financial responsibilities for parents and access to necessary treatment facilities. 

Proposed parenting plan

 Most divorces in Indiana will go through some form of mediation process. Part of the mediation process is also crafting a feasible parenting plan, including the wishes and concerns of each parent regarding rearing their children. Parents in an amiable divorce will actually often present a workable child custody and visitation arrangement based on the entire family’s wishes that the court will accept, but not always. The Indiana court system has significant latitude when awarding child custody. 

Home stability

 In some cases in Indiana, the court will issue a child custody ruling based on the home environment. It is not unusual for one parent to have more ample means of support than the other, and the disparity is often very wide. Some factors may effect the courts ruling such as concerns with other adults potentially living in the home, financial support viability, or even criminal history of either parent or significant other. Child custody requests are contested strongly on these premises.

Wishes of the children

 Parents commonly do not consider their children’s wishes when determining where they will live after a divorce. Several factors can impact this issue, but the court will be as concerned about the mental health of the child as well as their physical well-being. Children have a right to be relatively content in where they are living. Factors such as where they will attend school and their routine can be a major factor in a final court ruling. This information will often include the court wanting to know the child’s wishes regarding their custody. 

Third-party custody assignment

 There are also cases where both biological parents have personal issues that can impact the ruling regarding child custody. This is especially true in situations where both have a criminal record or are unable to provide a reasonably comfortable home and stable environment for whatever extenuating circumstance. Grandparents being assigned custody is often what results from these instances. There are some cases where children are designated to individuals outside of the family and are not allowed to return to the custody of a biological parent until the parents can prove financial or social stability to the court. 

Contact Yoder & Jessup 

 Family Law Attorneys in Garrett Indiana

 In Indiana, all divorcing parents need to understand that the court becomes the advocate lawyer for kids in all separation situations. Regardless of marital property distribution and assignment of financial support responsibilities, the welfare of dependent children is the essential element of their ruling. There is no guarantee a child will be placed with either biological parent when their rights have been compromised for any particular verifiable reason. It is always best to be prepared for any position the court may take on child custody. 

 The best method of ensuring a court decision that is positive for the entire family is retaining a family law legal professional like Yoder & Jessup Family Law Attorneys in Garrett Indiana who can craft your case for comprehensive presentation to the court. Requesting child custody can be the most challenging component of a divorce. An experienced family law attorney can provide the satisfaction that a child custody disposition request will be granted.