How to Modify Child Custody in Indiana
Family courts base their child custody decisions on the best interests of the child, and your desire to modify your custody arrangement must meet this same standard to succeed. State law generally seeks to avoid disrupting the living arrangements of children without sufficient cause. Even so, many legitimate reasons could persuade a court to approve your child custody modification petition. Child custody lawyers Indiana can provide advice specific to your situation before you approach a court. In general, many changes in circumstances for parents or children could support a custody modification.
Examples of Changing Circumstances
A custodial parent’s abusive behavior, mental health, addiction, or other unhealthy influences could motivate a noncustodial parent to seek custody modification. Sometimes less severe circumstances may prompt parents to change a custody arrangement. A job loss or the need to relocate could make a new custody arrangement necessary. At times, issues in a child’s life are behind a modification request. A child might want to spend more time with the other parent or desire relocation because of difficulty adapting to the current custodial household, school, or community.
Sometimes parents might agree that a custody change would be beneficial. Disputes about modification, however, are not uncommon. When one parent objects to a child custody modification, you can expect a court to scrutinize your petition.
A family court judge will not alter an existing custody order without evidence. Child custody lawyers Indiana work with clients to collect appropriate evidence when asking to modify child custody. A variety of sources can serve as evidence, such as:
- Records from physicians, dentists, or therapists for the child or parent
- Police records
- School records
- Statements from witnesses
- Text messages and emails
- Previous custody evaluations
- Previous custody orders
- Payroll records
A family court might also take into account the wishes of a child, although judges give more weight to the requests of children age 14 or older. Gender might influence a modification as well. For example, a maturing boy might prefer to live in his father’s household at some point.
Modifications in child custody will likely modify child support payments in Indiana. A noncustodial parent currently paying child support might be entitled to child support or a reduction in child support if a child changes households. A complimentary case review with a family lawyer at Webster & Garino can inform you about your options when you need to change your child custody arrangement. Call us at (317) 565-1818 to schedule an appointment.
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