Informed parents are good parents

Family law is a broad area of the legal sphere that pertains to millions of American parents and children. One of the most important subsets of family law is child custody, the laws surrounding which vary from state to state. If you’re going through a divorce in Indiana, it’s critical for you to understand and plan for certain child custody issues.

1. The Child’s Say

Unless the children involved in a child custody dispute are very young, their input typically may have some effect on the outcome of the case. Generally, family law judges tend to give more weight to the expressed desires of children fourteen years and older. However, no child’s input is the sole factor in the outcome of a court’s custody decision.

2. Defining “Best Interests”

During the child custody process, you’ll hear a lot about “best interests.” This framework uses certain factors to make a custody decision:

  • The age and sex of the child
  • The wishes of the child, with more consideration given to the child’s wishes if the child is at least 14 years of age
  • Any evidence of abuse or neglect or domestic violence
  • The wishes of the child’s parents
  • The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his parents or siblings
  • The child’s adjustment to home, school, and community
  • The mental and physical health of all individuals
3. Drawbacks to Joint Custody

Although joint custody sounds like a workable compromise to a contentious child custody dispute, the devil may be in the details. Joint custody arrangements often require close coordination between parents. If an intractable disagreement develops, the child could suffer.

4. Freedom of Movement

To secure primary custody of a child, parents may need to make certain sacrifices. In particular, it’s very difficult to relocate without first notifying the other parent and giving him or her the opportunity to ask the court to change the custody or parenting time arrangement. Relocating a great distance could jeopardize your custody arrangement and lead to a modification of primary custody or substantial change in the parenting schedule.

5. The Nuts and Bolts of Child Custody

It’s important to note the specific privileges that sole legal custody entails. These include:

  • The right and responsibility to provide medical care
  • The right to make educational decisions for the child
  • The freedom to determine the child’s religious upbringing

Every child custody issue is different, and it’s important to understand that your experience won’t always match those of your peers. That’s why we’re proud to offer a range of services for parents in the midst of contentious divorces. After all, there’s nothing more important than ensuring that your children are looked after as they grow. To learn more about how we can help with your family law needs, visit us online or fill out our online contact form.