When Can Child Custody Orders Be Modified in Indiana?
There are many reasons why a parent might wish to have a child custody order modified. Perhaps you would like to spend more time with your children to provide them with better guidance and shape their values. Maybe you’re concerned that their other parent is abusive or an unhealthy influence. In some cases, a significant change in circumstances warrants a child custody modification. Maybe a parent loses a job or is moving out of state and you want your child to remain at their current school.
In the state of Indiana, it is possible to have a child custody arrangement modified but only under certain circumstances. Pursuant to Indiana Code 31-17-2-21, the court will only modify a child custody order if it is in the child’s best interests. When making this determination, the court will evaluate whether there has been a substantial change in at least one of the following factors found in Indiana Code 31-17-2-8:
- The child’s age;
- The wishes of the parents;
- The child’s wishes, which will carry more weight if the child is a least 14 years old;
- The relationship between the child and the parents, siblings, or another person who has a significant effect on the child’s best interests;
- The child’s adjustment to his or her community, school, or home;
- The physical and mental health of the parents and child;
- Any evidence of family violence or domestic abuse; and
- Any evidence that a de facto custodian has been caring for the child.
Even if you and the other parent agree to modify the child custody order, you will still have to get the new arrangement approved by the court. Of course, in most cases, parents do not agree on the modification, so they have to go before a court to present their opposing arguments.
How an Indiana Child Custody Attorney Can Help
Modifying a child custody order can have a profound impact on all parties involved. If you and your ex cannot agree on a custody arrangement or if you simply need help formalizing the arrangement before the court, you should consult a child custody attorney for assistance.
Avnet Law can evaluate your situation to determine whether the court is likely to approve the modification. We can also help you gather the evidence needed to prove that the modification is (or is not) in your child’s best interests. Also, we can show whether there has been a requisite change in one of the eight circumstances listed above.
A child custody lawyer will handle the paperwork on your behalf to ensure mistakes are not made that may jeopardize your case. If your ex hires an attorney, you will have an experienced lawyer by your side. This can level the playing field and ensure you are treated fairly throughout the proceedings.
Discuss Your Case with an Indiana Child Custody Lawyer
If you are thinking about getting a child custody order modification, contact Avnet Law to discuss your case. Avnet Law will assess your situation for free and help you determine the most strategic way to proceed. Call 1-877-77-AVNET to schedule a consultation or contact us below with any questions you may have about your child custody in Indiana. We can also help with any other family law legal issues.