In Indiana, the mother of children is not always awarded primary physical custody of any children during a divorce proceeding. The legal standard that an Indiana Court will use to determine child custody is “the best interests of the child.” This legal standard allows the judge to take a wide array of factors into consideration in order to determine which household will primarily be the best place for the child.
Indiana code states that, in order to determine the best interests of the child for physical custody, the Court may take into consideration:
(1) The age and sex of the child.
(2) The wishes of the child’s parent or parents.
(3) The wishes of the child, with more consideration given to the child’s wishes if the child is at least fourteen (14) years of age.
(4) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with:
(A) the child’s parent or parents;
(B) the child’s sibling; and
(C) any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests.
(5) The child’s adjustment to the child’s:
(B) school; and
(6) The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.
(7) Evidence of a pattern of domestic or family violence by either parent.
(8) Evidence that the child has been cared for by a de facto custodian, and if the evidence is sufficient, the court shall consider the factors described in section 8.5(b) of this chapter.
The Court is also free to take additional information into consideration when determining physical custody, so long as that information is relevant. As a result, litigation surrounding physical custody might include evidence provided by the parties concerning the following:
-Is the mother or the father the child’s primary caregiver? Who helps the child get ready in the morning, puts them to bed, reads them a bed time story, helps with their homework, etc.
-What are the work schedules of the mother and father? Would it be better for the child to be with one or the other primarily due to very long work hours?
-Is one parent primarily involved in the child’s medical care? This would likely be an especially important consideration in the event that the child has a serious illness or special needs.
The above are just a few examples of numerous facts that the Court might take into consideration when determining physical custody. As a result of the best interests of the child test it is important for those getting ready to file for divorce or going through divorce in Indianapolis or the surrounding areas to meet with a divorce attorney to discuss how decisions made prior to and during divorce might affect the outcome of the Court’s child custody determination. If you would like to schedule a consultation to meet with divorce attorney Jayson Gilbert at the office of Halcomb Singler, LLP, located on Main Street near the Carmel Arts and Design District in Carmel, Indiana, call our office at (317) 575-8222 or click here.
*No attorney-client relationship with the firm of Halcomb Singler, LLP, is created through this blog. Also, please note that the attorneys at Halcomb Singler, LLP, are licensed in Indiana and do not seek to practice law in any jurisdiction in which they are not properly authorized to do so. The information contained in this blog is general in nature and should not be relied upon for the circumstances of any individual(s) or businesses.
**Halcomb Singler, LLP, is a debt relief agency. It helps people file for bankruptcy under the bankruptcy code.