Divorce Indiana Custody

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Every state has different rules and regulation for a court proceeding of dissolution of marriage. The same rules are applied while handling related issues like child support, visitation and alimony. Child guardianship is regarded as a vital issue in a legal procedure. Often, parents have innumerable disputes on this matter and fail to submit an agreement. In such cases, the state court strives hard to provide the best parenting plan. The important factors in the divorce custody in Indiana are explained as below.

Procedures in Divorce Custody in Indiana

As soon as a couple separates, they must start taking actions on parenting and visitation matters. The couple can draft short-term and long-term plans. If the couple fails to develop such plan, the court executes some procedures regarding this issue.

Temporary Hearing

  • After the initial legal papers are filed, the family court schedules this hearing.
  • During this hearing, if the guardianship issue is contested by the parents, then the court issues temporary orders.
  • These orders must be observed till the final decree is granted by the court.
  • The court asks the partners seeking dissolution of marriage to undergo mediation.
  • Mediation is a sort of ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution). That means it is another method to solve marital conflicts by discussion or counseling.
  • During mediation, a specifically trained third party tries to neutrally resolve the conflict.
  • Let us consider that the partners are successful in finding a solution to the dispute by means of mediation. If so happens, the partners can present their agreement in the court, stating the provisions for guardianship and visitation of the kids.
  • Some couples seeking separation cannot reach an agreement even on completion of the previous 2 steps.
  • Then, the court issues orders for a custody evaluation.
  • An outside expert conducts this evaluation. This third party investigation can be carried out by psychologist, legal expert or any other person who is considered appropriate for this work.
  • The court uses this evaluation to determine the best interests of the child.
  • The court takes into account the various factors set out by the law in determination of an arrangement that is in the best interests of the child.
  • The court refers the testimonies of parents, relatives and other persons involved in the case. After studying all relevant factors, the court comes to a conclusion. The final order is issued then.

Factors stated by law in Divorce Custody in Indiana

The court is bound to plan a custody arrangement that serves the best interests of the child. In this state, there is no assumption that favors either the father or the mother. The law has stated that the following factors must be considered by the court -

  • Presence of any proof that a de facto custodian has taken care of the kids.
  • Existence of any evidence that either parent has perpetrated family violence or a pattern of domestic violence.
  • The physical and mental health of all the persons involved in the issue.
  • The behavior of the family members in the society and other places.
  • The interrelationship and interaction of the child along with the following:
    • The father
    • The mother
    • All siblings
    • All individuals that considerably impact the best interests of the child.
  • The desires of the kid (in case he or she is minimum 14 years of age, this point assumes considerable significance).
  • The wishes of the father and the mother.
  • The age and sex.
All these points have been mentioned in Indiana Code, Title 31, Article 17, Chapter 2-8 to 2-13.

The alteration or modification in the present custody orders is a complicated issue. A person seeking such change has to collect all proofs and evidences to justify that current situation are against the best interests of a child. Otherwise, such person has to convince the court that any change in present conditions will bring improvement in the kid's psychological and educational status. Similarly, if a custodian spouse is shifting home and leaving the state, he or she must ensure the court that this relocation will not bring hurdles in the mental and educational development of a child.

The court may award the guardianship to a third party (Grandparents or social institutions), if it finds both partners incapable for the upbringing of child. Various factors like the relationship of that person, monitory condition and capacity of such third party are pondered over in this case

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