Indianapolis Child Custody Attorney
As a parent, your child is your top priority. Your child’s best interests are your main concern, and your child’s welfare and mental and emotional health are important to you. However, when you are going through a divorce or are simply trying to arrange for custody with the other parent, you may find it is difficult to come to an agreement with the other parent. Both of you love your child and want to be there to witness every special event and every accomplishment. However, because you are not living together and raising your child together, you must either agree on how to co-parent or have the court intervene.
Unfortunately, the child custody dispute process is extremely emotional and stressful for all involved. Often times, a battle over custody becomes drawn-out and can take a psychological toll on your child. The best way to approach negotiations on child custody is to put differences and tension aside and focus on your child. An experienced and skilled Indianapolis child custody lawyer can help you accomplish this. At Eskew Law, LLC, our team of Indianapolis family law attorneys are well-versed in Indiana family law, including divorce, custody, visitation, and support. We can help you advocate for your position and pursue your desired outcome. To schedule a consultation to formulate an action plan for seeking custody of your child, contact Eskew Law, LLC at (317) 974-0177 now.
How Is Child Custody Determined?
Child custody refers to two separate parental rights: (1) physical custody and (2) legal custody, which is the right to have legal decisions concerning the welfare and upbringing of your child. It is easiest to think of physical custody as being a parenting time order. When you have the child, you have physical custody. There are tax implications to have physical custody as well. You can be awarded both, only one, or neither. Though it is rare to find someone who has the child more than 50% of the time who does not have at least shared/joint legal custody. Custody can be joint/shared or sole. Together with the other parent, you can try to sit down and fashion a child custody agreement that sets forth who gets what type of custody, when each parent can see the child, and who is responsible for making which decisions. If you are unable to agree on your own, you can seek assistance through arbitration or mediation. If these options are not available to you, you can file for a determination with the court, and the court will determine what arrangement is in the best interests of your child.
Though many custody battles are focused on what each parent wants, the court will instead be focused on the child. The court may consider what arrangement the child prefers when the child is 14 years or older. The court will consider the other factors including:
- The child’s ties to the community through school, extracurricular activities, community activities, religious organizations, and more
- The child’s relationships with other family members such as siblings and grandparents
- Any special needs of the child and parents, such as medical conditions or mental health issues
- The wishes of the parents
- The child’s education or childcare
- The parents’ backgrounds, including criminal history
- Any history of domestic violence or neglect
- The wishes of a de facto custodian
If the court awards joint legal and physical custody to the parents, they will share in parenting time and decision making. If the court awards sole legal and primary physical custody to one parent, the other parent, absent extenuating circumstances, will be ordered to receive parenting time. The court can provide the couple with a parenting time schedule that will be required to work for both parties, as well as the child, though the court will not likely be creative.
If a party desires to modify the custody order because of new developments, the party may file a motion to modify with the court and must present evidence to the judge that there has been a significant change in circumstances and that modifying the custody order is in the best interests of the child.
Competent and Adept Navigation of Complex Child Custody Issues in Central Indiana
If you are facing a child custody dispute, Eskew Law, LLC can help you facilitate negotiations, develop custody agreements or visitation plans, and advocate for your child’s best interests in court. We take this privilege and responsibility seriously for all of our clients throughout Indianapolis and Central Indiana. To schedule a consultation, call Eskew Law, LLC at (317) 974-0177 today.