Child Custody Lawyer Fort Wayne
Indiana Child Custody Attorney Representing Clients in Fort Wayne
Child custody cases are part of the broader area of family law. In Fort Wayne child custody cases, a parent can be awarded sole or joint custody, and child custody can be legal custody or physical custody. When parents share physical custody and spend time with the child, or in circumstances in which one parent has visitation, Indiana law uses the term “parenting time.” A child custody lawyer in Fort Wayne can help.
Understanding Child Custody in Fort Wayne, Indiana
Child custody can be awarded in any of the following ways in Fort Wayne:
- Sole physical and legal custody;
- Shared physical and legal custody;
- Sole physical custody and shared legal custody; or
- Shared physical custody and sole legal custody.
Even in circumstances where there is a sole custodial parent, the other parent typically will have parenting time.
Factors for Determining the Best Interests of the Child in Fort Wayne Custody Cases
When courts in Indiana decide how to award child custody, they look to a number of factors that help to determine what is in the best interests of the child. Indiana law clarifies that a court can consider all relevant factors, including the following eight factors cited in the statute as follows:
- The age and sex of the child;
- The wishes of the child’s parents;
- The wishes of the child, typically once the child is over the age of 14;
- The nature of the child’s relationship with their parents, siblings, and other household members;
- The importance of the child’s school and home communities;
- The mental and physical health of all individuals involved;
- Evidence of domestic violence by either parent; and
- Evidence that the child has been cared for by a de facto custodian.
Parenting Time in Fort Wayne and the Child’s Basic Needs
In Fort Wayne, courts use Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines that state that it is in a child’s best interest to maintain contact and foster relationships with both parents. In looking at the Guidelines, courts begin from the assumption that both parents impact their child in important ways and contribute to the child’s well-being. At the same time, the Guidelines underscore the complications presented by parenting time, including the fact that it is hard for parents to share parenting time when they live in separate households.
The Guidelines are not rules, but rather are designed to be one model from which to draw, and from which adjustments can be made to fit the needs of the child and the family.
Seek Advice From Our Child Custody Attorneys in Fort Wayne, Indiana
Whether you have questions about child custody under Indiana law or need assistance with a child custody case or child custody dispute after your divorce, our experienced Fort Wayne child custody lawyers can begin working with you today. Contact The Bellinger Law Office today to learn more about the family law services we provide to individuals and families in Indiana.