Child Custody in Fort Wayne, IN

We understand that a child custody battle is a personal and highly emotional issue. This is why we’re so passionate about connecting you with Fort Wayne, Indiana professionals that will help you fight for your rights as a parent.

What Is Child Custody?

When two parents separate, they must decide on how their children spend time between them. Child custody refers to the right of either or both parents to provide a home for their children and exercise parental rights. In Fort Wayne, IN not all cases go to court. But, when they do, courts make their decisions based on what they think is most beneficial for the child.

Types of Child Custody Arrangements In Fort Wayne, Indiana

There are three main types of arrangements that can occur. These include full custody, sole custody, and joint custody. In Indiana, child custody cases can go to the Circuit Court, or the Superior Court. If you live in Fort Wayne, you will typically have your case heard by the Family Relations Division of the Allen County Superior Court.

What Is Full Custody?

In a full custody arrangement, one parent receives the majority of the parenting time and maintains physical custody. In most instances, this person also makes the majority of the decisions about the child’s upbringing. Furthermore, they have control over decisions related to health, education, and religion. The parent awarded full custody is the primary custodial parent.
When deciding on full custody in Fort Wayne, the court will use Indiana Code guidelines. Factors that are typically considered by a judge include the age and sex of the child, the parents’ wishes, and the child’s wishes. The court will also consider the child’s ability to re-adjustment to home, school, and community. As well, the court will evaluate the child’s relationship with all family members.
If you move more than 20 miles away from the other party’s home after the order is issued, you need to file a Notice of Intent to Move. You will also need to file this Notice if the child has to attend a new school due to the move. The Notice should file with the court that issued the original order.
Even when children only live with one parent, the other parent still has the opportunity to be a part of their lives. The custodial parent may allow visiting time or the children may spend a few weekends with the non-custodial parent. In some instances, a parent awarded full custody might still maintain joint custody in practice with their partner. Typically for the benefit of the children.

What Is Sole Custody?

Most people do not differentiate between one parent getting the overwhelming majority of the parenting time. However, it is important to note the possibility of some parents getting no parenting time or rights at all. The court will provide one parent with sole physical custody if the other parent is deemed an unfit parent.
In some cases, the court may go as far as to terminate the rights of the other parent. This may occur if the parent gets convicted of particular crimes that might endanger a child. An example is child abuse or inappropriate sexual conduct with a child. Indiana state laws vary on what might result in parental termination.

What Is Joint Custody?

Joint custody describes the arrangement where both parents of the child split physical custody. When parents share equal custody, the child may spend a week or two on and off with either parent. Some families in Fort Wayne, Indiana also practice “nesting”, where both parents move in and out of a home where the child lives.
Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines declare that joint custody is not possible in Fort Wayne in some situations. Substance abuse or violence in the family are examples of disqualifying circumstances. However if both parents demonstrate that they can make decisions together, joint custody may be in the best interests of the child.
In many joint custody arrangements, one parent may retain complete responsibility. This is for any major decisions that have to happen in regard to the well-being of the child. Also, joint custody does not always mean an equal sharing of time. In most instances, one parent still retains primary custody. In these cases, they may hold the larger portion of a 60/40 time split.

The Factors Courts Consider When Making a Decision

In Fort Wayne, Indiana full custody is often awarded when one parent isn’t able to contribute. For example, if a parent is physically incarcerated, doesn’t work, or engages in risky behavior.
On the other hand, joint custody is often provided to the parents. Both parents assume the responsibilities that one needs to raise a healthy and happy child. Both parents need to be able to work together to maintain consistent communication and follow the directions of the court. Sometimes parents do not work well together. Then the court is sometimes more likely to award one parent the majority of the parenting time to reduce friction.
With Fort Wayne joint custody cases, both parents need to coordinate resources and activities to support the needs of the child. The situation of your custody arrangements might vary. There may be a supervised custody arrangement for one parent. Another option is a public meeting place for the child to be picked up and dropped off with the other parent.

The Basics of the Child Custody Process 

Custody arrangements in Fort Wayne, Indiana are often subject to family court orders and decisions. However, this is not always the case. Even when the split is amicable, hiring a child custody lawyer can help. Navigate the troubled waters of your custody battle with legal help. Many parents are able to come together to find a solution that works well for the child. Oftentimes without needing to involve the court system.
According to Indiana’s Rules for Alternative Dispute Resolution, a judge may order mediation for any domestic relations. However, either party may file a written objection to this order within 7 days of the referral. The court shall promptly consider the objection and any response. As well, they’ll determine whether the litigation should go to mediation or not. In this decision, the court shall consider the willingness of the parties to attempt to mutually resolve their dispute. Additionally, they will consider the ability of the parties to participate in the mediation process. Keep in mind that if you cannot agree on a parenting plan, a judge can have the final decision.
Working with a Fort Wayne custody lawyer as a mediator can help to advise you on the best type of custody arrangement for your child. Hire an experienced child custody lawyer to help you better understand your rights as a parent and avoid costly mistakes.

Work With an Experienced Fort Wayne, Indiana Child Custody Lawyer 

A child custody battle is a difficult and frustrating process. This is worse when there is animosity between you and the other parent. A Fort Wayne lawyer that specializes in this area can help to explain the entire process of the child custody battle. Moreover, they can help to make a positive impact on your case whether they mediate the arrangement or defend one party.
Hire a dedicated and passionate child custody attorney in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Your chances of  seeing a custody agreement and visitation rights that are favorable for you will be much more likely. If you’re looking to hire an experienced child custody lawyer to help you understand your rights as a parent, you’ve come to the right place.
The attorneys we connect people with can increase your chances of getting the arrangement you seek, even in complex cases. Connect with an experienced lawyer in your area today. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Indiana state lines.

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