In divorce cases, it is common for each parent to want to maintain a similar relationship with their children as there was before the divorce. A divorce can be jarring and emotionally intense for young children and teenagers. To soften the effects of the divorce on your children, a court will often award a custody plan that takes into account the needs of your children. Indiana law makes distinctions between legal and physical custody when it comes to making life decisions for your children (legal custody) and providing the principal residence for your children (physical custody).
How Indiana treats child custody cases
The laws surrounding child custody issues in Indiana demonstrate a clear preference for divorce cases to favor equally distributed custody of the children. A court will award joint custody, as long it deems that this arrangement is in the best interests of the children. If you have personal reasons for pursuing primary custody, or if you and your spouse are willing to work together for a co-parenting plan, it is essential to know the criteria that a family law judge will consider before awarding custody:
- The age of the child or children
- What arrangement each parent prefers
- The child’s wishes
- What kind of relationship the child or children have with each parent
- The importance of the child or children’s current location. This consideration includes their attachment to a school, friend groups, immediate community, and those family members who may be in close proximity.
- The mental and physical health of the parents and the children
- Histories of domestic abuse and violence
Doing what’s best for your kids
If you’re considering a divorce or are unhappy with the way your child custody proceedings are turning out, contact an attorney with family law and divorce experience who can guide you through this emotional and challenging experience.