You have only ever wanted your children to be happy and healthy. However, going through a divorce, their feelings and well-being concern you. You may believe if they were to live with you, they would remain the active and carefree children you have always known.
You know that in the past, most judges chose the mother for physical custody of the child. In your case, an outcome like this scares you. What are your options? Learning about child custody in Indiana may give you a better chance of getting your kids.
An overview of child custody
In Indiana, there are two different types of custody: physical and legal. Physical custody defines where your children will live. In most cases, parents share physical custody, also known as joint custody. In simpler terms, your children will live with one parent, while the other parent receives parenting time.
Legal custody gives you and your spouse the right to make crucial decisions in your children’s lives. Although your children may live with your spouse, you will still be able to take part in deciding specific issues such as their education and medical concerns.
How does the judge decide?
The court’s duty is to the child, not the parents. The judicial system considers the best interest of the child when making its decision and refers to a list to help come to that judgment:
- Child’s gender and age
- The child’s wishes
- Child’s interactions and relationships with parents and siblings
- The parents’ wishes
- The physical and mental health of family
- Child’s adjustment to home and school
- Evidence of a pattern of domestic violence by either parent
- If someone who is not a family member has taken care of the child
If your children are at least 14 years old, the judge may decide to speak with them privately about which parent they would like to live with.