Indiana Child Custody Laws

Child custody laws by state - Indiana

Indiana Child Custody LawsAlthough Indiana child custody laws and courts may consider several factors when determining child custody, they always uphold the best interest of the child above all else. It is important for co-parents who are seeking a child custody agreement to become familiar with the laws of the state since they often vary slightly throughout the country.

How will Indiana child custody laws determine your custody arrangement?

Indiana child custody laws and family courts do not initially assume that the best interests of the child will be met with one co-parent over the other. This is decided in court after questioning and observing both co-parents on a number of factors that will give insight on their ability to care for their child. All of these factors will be considered when the court is determining a custody agreement. Some of these factors include the following.

  • The wishes of the child will be taken into consideration. These wishes will be given more or less weight based on the age and maturity of the child. This age is typically set at 14 years old.
  • The child’s relationship with each co-parent and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests.
  • Indiana child custody laws and courts initially consider the physical and mental health of both the co-parents and the child.
  • The ability of the child to adjust to environments and settings such as school, home, and community.
  • The wishes of the co-parents may be taken into consideration but they will not be a deciding factor over the best interests of the child.

Indiana child custody laws and a joint custody agreement

Joint custody can also be granted if the Indiana child custody laws and courts find it to be in the best interest of the child. This type of custody can be joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or both. Joint legal custody would allow both co-parents to be responsible for the decision making for their child. They would have to cooperatively make decisions regarding important issues in the child’s life such as education, religion, health, and so on. Joint physical custody would designate both co-parents as the custodial parenting of the child. This does not necessarily mean that time is split evenly between co-parents. The following factors are considered by the Indiana child custody laws and courts when considering a joint legal or physical custody order.

 

  • The physical and mental ability of each co-parent to care for their child.
  • The willingness of each co-parent to encourage a meaningful and lasting relationship between the other co-parent and their child.
  • The wishes of the child will be taken into consideration. These wishes will be given more or less weight based on the age and maturity of the child. This age is typically set at 14 years old.
  • The quality of relationship that the child has with each co-parent.
  • The geographical location of both co-parents and how that might affect a joint custody agreement and visitation.
  • The physical and emotional environment of each co-parent’s home.           

Indiana child custody law requirements for modifying your custody agreement

Modifying your child custody plan if often a long and difficult process. The reality is that the original custody arrangement that is granted by the court is final and not meant to be changed, but courts do realize that children get older and situations change. Indiana child custody laws often make this process difficult in order to discourage any request for unnecessary changes. If a co-parent wishes to modify their custody agreement, Indiana child custody laws require that they present reasonable evidence to the court that it is necessary. The modification must be seen as in the best interest of the child by the court, otherwise it will most likely be denied instantly. Indiana child custody laws may grant a modification if there is substantial evidence that without the proposed change the best interest of the child will be severely damaged. Overall, if you or your co-parent is seeking modifications for their own personal gain, it is highly unlikely that it will be granted.

This information is not to be used as legal advice. For additional aide and legal information please consult with an Indiana family law professional regarding Indiana child custody laws. For a list of resources in Indiana visit our Helpful Links – Indiana page. The OurFamilyWizard website® is dedicated to providing co-parents with the tools and resources they need to easily manage their custody agreements. After becoming familiar with the Indiana child custody laws, please visit the Child Custody page for more information.


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