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.