Fort Wayne Custody Attorney
Custody disputes are among the most contentious issues facing divorcing couples. When deciding custody issues, the courts will consider the best interests of the children. The Bellinger Law Office has helped thousands of Fort Wayne spouses navigate divorce and secure their interests for the future.
Two Types of Custody
Indiana law recognizes two types of custody — legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to a parent’s right to make decisions related to a child’s healthcare, education, and religious upbringing. Physical custody simply means that the child resides most of the time at one parent’s house. The parent who does not have physical custody of a child is considered a non-custodial parent. Non-custodial parents are usually required to pay child support to custodial parents.
Joint or Sole Custody?
Joint custody is when two parents have legal custody of a child. While the child may reside with one parent most of the time, the child often spends weekends with the other parent according to a visitation schedule. In the case of joint custody, both parents are able to make critical decisions regarding their child’s life. When one parent has sole custody, that means that only one parent has that kind of decision-making power.
Sole Custody and Visitation
Just because one parent has sole custody of a child does not mean that the other parent is prevented from seeing them. A visitation schedule may be established that either allows the child to be in the care of the other parent or permits supervised visits between the parent and the child. Visitation issues are separate from custody issues.
Child Custody and Mediation
Indiana requires all parents to mediate divorces prior to having the courts weigh in on the matter. This is also true for custody cases. Parents are encouraged to come up with a solution or part of a solution together and present the matter for the court to sign off on. Mediation generally saves time and money for both the courts and the spouses.
The Bellinger Law Office also handles grandparents’ rights cases and third-party custody arrangements. In Indiana, grandparents can seek visitation rights if their own child (the mother or father of their grandchild) is dead, the grandchild’s parents are divorced, or if the grandchild was born out of wedlock. For paternal grandparents, paternity must be established first.
Third-Party Custody Hearings
It sometimes happens that neither parent is fit to care for their children or both parents are dead. In that case, a family member may apply for guardianship of the children. The Bellinger Law Office handles third-party guardianship hearings to establish physical custody of a child who may not have any suitable parents.
Talk to a Fort Wayne Custody Attorney
If you are going through a divorce with children, custody will be one of the biggest issues you tackle. The Fort Wayne custody attorneys at The Bellinger Law Office have helped thousands of children and their parents secure their future together. Call us today to learn more.