One of the most important elements of any child’s life and development process is time spent with parents. The childhood years are fleeting, and the time that a parent spends with a child during this period is a precious thing to be protected and revered. Halcomb Singler understands that our clients want the best for their children and that no one wants their time with their children to be limited.
Divorce can sometimes disrupt or hinder your ability to spend as much time with your children as you and they might like. At Halcomb Singler, our attorneys vigorously advocate for your rights to spend as much of this precious time with them as possible.
Indiana has a set of parenting time guidelines that lays out a schedule of which parent is able to spend specific days with their children. The guidelines lay out parenting time in detail that can be quite shocking. Which parent has the children depends on the day of the week, the year, whether it is a holiday, the age of the child, etc. There are guidelines about returning the children to your ex-spouse with clean clothing. The guidelines also dictate that a “child communication book” should be kept with the child at all times so that the parents may use it to communicate regarding the child’s education, healthcare and activities with as little interaction as possible between the parents. The detailed guidelines also state that a non-custodial parent will transport the children to the non-custodial parent for the start of parenting time and that the non-custodial parent will be responsible for transporting children back at the conclusion of parenting time. Over the years the Indiana parenting time guidelines have been updated to include new holidays, to split Christmas break in half and to add guidelines for fall break.
However, parents can agree to deviate from the parenting guidelines so long as it is in the best interests of the child, set out in writing an approved by the Court. For example, some ex-spouses opt that their children spend one full week with each parent, eliminating a mid-week overnight visit. Other parents agree that their children should spend half of each major holiday with each parent instead of dividing the holiday up on an every other year basis. Overall, the Court understands that it is difficult to manage the needs of your children post-divorce when you may be transitioning to life as a single-parent for the first time. When both parents have 8 to 5 employment the parenting guidelines may work perfectly, but when one parent works at night and the other works days it would typically be best to ask the court to deviate from the parenting guidelines so that the parenting plan works for the people who will be implementing it; the parents!
Child custody disputes are, understandably, among the most emotional and important legal processes in which a parent can ever be involved. Child custody in Indiana is divided into legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody means the ability to make decision in the lives of children regarding their upbringing. Examples of decisions that might be made by a legal custodian would be whether a child would attend a private school or become a member of a church. Physical custody simply means where the child is located physically. Custody may be sole custody or joint. For example, parents often have joint physical custody of their children, meaning that the children spend half of their time with each parent.
In the event that parents are unable to agree, or now believe that previously entered custody awards should be modified it is up to the Court to make the determination of legal and physical custody. In order to make this determination the Court may take into account a wide range of information that he or she deems necessary to determine what is in the best interest of the child. “The best interests of the child” standard means that the judge might take into account the age, gender, the relationship that the child(ten) have with both parents, the wishes of the child, where the child currently attends school, or any other factors relevant to the best interest of the child.
Custody disputes are often the most drawn out, most expensive part of a divorce case. It is typically best to try to come to an agreement regarding child custody in order to spare your children from living through an ugly custody battle. It may be possible to come to a custody agreement through mediation. However, the unfortunate truth is that due to alcohol/drug abuse, mental illness, physical abuse, neglect, or a host of other reasons it is sometimes impossible to come to an agreement on child custody that would not put children in harms way. In these cases, Halcomb Singler, LLP’s attorneys will work with you to assemble the strongest body of evidence possible to show the judge why you believe your child would not be safe in the custody of your ex-spouse during your contested child custody hearing
Our Carmel attorneys will help you by preparing, organizing and presenting a compelling case for your intended custody or visitation arrangement. Whether you are seeking full or joint child custody or are seeking to expand your visitation time, Halcomb Singler, LLP, will advocate clearly and convincingly for you in an effort to maximize your parenting time in the best interest of your children.
Halcomb Singler, LLP, in Carmel represents parents who want to safeguard their ability to love, nurture and educate their children through ample parenting time. We understand the value of that time, and will work vigorously to protect it on your behalf.
If you would like to set up a consultation at Halcomb Singler, LLP, regarding a child custody, visitation or parenting time matter, call us today at (317) 575-8222. We will find the right Carmel Divorce Attorney that is right for your case.
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