Child Custody, Parenting Time & Child Support
The family law attorneys at Tuesley Hall Konopa, LLP realize that when it comes to divorce, establishing the terms of child custody, parenting time and child support can be difficult and contentious.
Indiana law provides that the court shall determine child custody in accordance with the best interests of the child. In determining the child best’s interests, there is not a presumption favoring either parent. Instead, in awarding custody, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including the following:
(1) The age and sex of the child.
(2) The wishes of the child’s 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 the child’s parents, the child’s siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest.
(5) The child’s adjustment to home, school, and community.
(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 on this topic is sufficient, then assorted other factors related to the de facto custodian).
Courts will generally attempt to award joint legal custody where lines of communication between the parties are open (and where it appears that co-parents can put aside their differences for the betterment of the children). Where such factors are not present and where the analysis leads the court to believe that it is in the best interest of the child for one parent to be granted sole legal custody, that is within the court’s discretion.
Finally, there can be situations where the court finds that a third party (someone other than a child’s biological parents) should be awarded legal custody. This could happen when the court determines that a third-party custodian is better suited to care for the child than the child’s own parents (for the reasons set forth in Paragraph 8 above and in Ind. Code 31-14-13-2.5(b)).
In addition to establishing legal custody, the courts will also determine parenting time, considering the best interests of the child and the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines (as well as the local rules of the various counties which have adopted such guidelines with or without certain nuances).
Once custody and parenting time are established, the court will determine an appropriate child support amount and order one party to pay the other such sum for the benefit of the children. Among the many factors the go into a child support calculations, the Child Support Obligation Worksheet used to calculate the correct child support considers gross weekly income of both parents, whether either has any prior born or subsequent children, whether there are any health insurance costs for the benefit of the children, work-related child care, and how many overnights per year each party has the child, among other things.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for disagreements to arise during child custody, parenting time, and child support cases. While we want our clients to work through their matters peacefully, we recognize that this is not always possible. If you and your divorcing spouse are unable to agree on the terms of child support, parenting time or child custody, we have extensive litigation experience and will go to court on your behalf.
The family law attorneys at Tuesley Hall Konopa, LLP realize that every client’s family situation is unique, and nothing is more distressing than facing a family law case that needs to be resolved for the welfare of the children. Our goal is to make the process of determining child custody, parenting time and child support less overwhelming for our clients.
Call 574.232.3538 for a case evaluation with one of our caring and knowledgeable family law attorneys.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.