Now Hiring Experienced Attorneys

Call Now

Call Now

Call Now

Blog

Child Custody Modification in Indiana: The Evidence Checklist You Need to Make Your Case

Child Custody Modification in Indiana: The Evidence Checklist You Need to Make Your Case

While children are resilient and “bounce back”, modifying physical custody from one parent to another parent is a major life factor that may impact the child’s fundamental sense of safety, security, and stability. For this reason, there are two common factual situations where custody modification does not make a strong legal case.

The first is where the non-custodial parent’s life has improved, but this has had little impact on how the kids are doing in the custodial parent’s care. Remember, the legal focus for modification is on the children’s best interest. So, for instance, a parent who has achieved long-term sobriety may not really be a factor supporting modifying custody if the children are otherwise thriving in the other parent’s care.

Secondly, some parents simply cannot accept not being awarded custody in the first instance and use continued modification filings to attempt to try to correct this perceived incorrect legal custody award. By statute, a trial court cannot consider evidence that was heard or occurred before the last custody order.

Outside these two circumstances, there are many cases where there has been a substantial change in circumstances and it is in the child’s best interest for a change in physical custody. Most non-custodial parents have a sense of these situations.

Normally, the change warranting a custody modification occurs in one of two ways. The first occurs through gradual changes over time in the custodial parent’s household, ranging from a remarriage and difficulties in the children in blending into the new family units to a child’s advancing age and gender. The second is a cataclysmic event, which can be a drug overdose, an arrest, or a serious physical or mental illness.

If this is your situation, this blog focus on the steps to follow to make the decision, best made with counsel, to file a custody modification case—and proving the substantial change. Merely testifying that certain events have occurred is unlikely to result in evidence to demonstrate a substantial change of circumstances to warrant a modification of custody to you in the children’s best interests.

So, where’s the evidence to show the substantial change in circumstances (the child is not having his or her interests met in the present custodial parent’s household)?

This blog provides a checklist of items that may be used to analyze to assess your case and present it in court—to show the child is not thriving in the other parent’s care—and what you need for your counsel (or for your counsel to obtain in discovery) in seeking your physical custody modification:

  • Timelines showing what has occurred (or you believe has occurred) to warrant custody and a background of your case—the proverbial who, what, when, where, why and how
  • Prior custody orders
  • Prior custody evaluations, CASA/GAL reports
  • List of doctors, dentist, and therapists (for the children and/or parents depending on the basis for modification)
  • Photographs
  • Text messages
  • Recordings
  • Police reports, police runs, protective orders, criminal charges, et cetera
  • School records (such as attendance or report cards)
  • List of those who have knowledge of the basis for your modification, with corresponding contact information (teachers, therapists, neighbors, friends, day-care providers)
  • Emails
  • Journals (such as listing denial of parenting time or references to what has occurred to substantiate the change)
  • List of materials that are necessary and believed to exist to warrant custody medication (so counsel can seek these through discovery or private investigation or otherwise)
  • Your last six (6) pay stubs and information about the other parent’s employer or income and insurance and day-care costs
  • Videos

With this information, you and your advocate may effectively determine the strengths of your modification case, trial theme, and what evidence needs to be gathered and obtained in an admissible format. You may know a modification is in the child’s best interests, but this allows you to make your case and prove it in court. It’s all about the evidence.

Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. advocates handle child-custody modification cases throughout the State of Indiana. This blog is written for general informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or a solicitation for services. It is an advertisement.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on email
Email

We Listen & Care

Proven & experienced attorneys successfully advocating & resolving complex cases for over 25 years

Quick Contact

Need to talk now? Fill out the quick form below and we will contact you directly.
Blog Categories

Get In Touch

We're available to answer your questions 24/7.

Related Videos

Contact Us

Please fill out the form below and we will be in touch with you shortly.

Ciyou & Dixon, P.C., is a law firm located in Indianapolis, Indiana. We serve clients in six core practice areas: family lawappellate practicefirearms lawgeneral practicepersonal injury and criminal law.

Copyright © 2021 Ciyou & Dixon, P.C., Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved. This Site does not provide legal advice; please review the disclaimer for other limitations. Privacy Policy

Based in Indianapolis and founded in 1995, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. is a niche law firm focused on successfully dealing with the complexities of divorce, high-conflict child custody and family law. Known for their ability to solve extremely complex situations with high quality work and responsiveness, Ciyou & Dixon will guide you every step of the way. The family law attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. will help you precisely identify your objectives and the means to reach your desired result. In addition, this practice focus is augmented by the firm's other three core areas, namely appellate advocacy, civil practice, and firearms law. Life is uncertain. Be certain of your counselSM.

Indianapolis Divorce Attorneys, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. of Indianapolis, Indiana, offers legal services for Indianapolis, Zionsville, Noblesville, Carmel, Avon, Anderson, Danville, Greenwood, Brownsburg, Geist, Fortville, McCordsville, Muncie, Greenfield, Westfield, Fort Wayne, Fishers, Bloomington, Lafayette, Marion County, Hamilton County, Hendricks County, Allen County, Delaware County, Morgan County, Hendricks County, Boone County, Vigo County, Johnson County, Hancock County, and Tippecanoe County, Indiana.