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Child Custody Decisions in Indiana

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How Do Indiana Courts Make Decisions for Child Custody?

The Indiana court makes decisions for sole custody, shared, or joint custody based on the best interest of the child. In the event that the parents fail to reach a mutual agreement regarding custody arrangements, the court will enter a custody order without presuming in favor in either of the parents.

What Factors Are Used in Deciding a Custody Order?

An Indiana court will consider "all relevant factors" in determining which type of custody order bests suits the needs of all parties. Some of these factors include:

  • The child’s age and sex
  • The wishes of the child, especially if the child is 14 years of age or older
  • The interrelationship of the child with parents, siblings, and any other significant figure in the child’s life
  • The general physical and mental health of all the persons involved
  • Evidence of patterns of abuse or domestic violence of either parent
  • Involvement of a de facto custodian or guardian

Are There Any Special Provisions under Indiana Child Custody Laws?

Indiana child custody laws make special mention of circumstances involving a "de facto custodian" who is rendering care to the child. If the child is currently under the care of a de facto custodian, the court will make the custodian a party to the custody proceeding. The court may award custody to the de facto custodian if it is shown to be in the best interests of the child.

Do I Need to Contact a Lawyer for Child Custody Issues?

Any child custody hearing will involve analysis of several factors and their relation to current Indiana laws. The services of a family law lawyer can be indispensable in ensuring that your child’s best interests will be properly met by the custody order. Contacting a local attorney is a good first step in protecting the interests of your child.

Photo of page author Matthew Izzi

, LegalMatch Legal Writer and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 05-04-2017 04:46 PM PDT

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