The General Assembly, trial courts, and Indiana appellate courts all are active in protecting children caught in a divorce or paternity cases and in modification proceedings afterwards. The policy, which is a basic tenet of psychology, is aimed at the disruptive effect of moving children back and forth between divorced parents and to discourage the parents from using child custody proceedings for revenge or because something in their live has changed.
To modify physical custody (i.e., where the child spends the majority of his or her nights), a parent must show a substantial change in circumstances and modification meets the children’s best interests. Typically, normal changes in life are insufficient to legally justify changing custody because the children are uprooted and moved from the home, school, friends and community.
While patterns of less than par parenting can result in a substantial change, the most common legal basis is some significant triggering event. These may, on balance, meet this burden. This blog lists the five of the most common things that occur that form the basis of child custody modification:
- Involuntary hospitalization for psychological or psychiatric disorders.
- Arrest for violent felonies or drug or alcohol offenses.
- Relocation without notification for the purposes of interfering with the other parent’s parenting time or custody.
- Physical or significant mental abuse of the child.
- Pattern of serious educational or medical neglect.
These are some of the basis that rapidly form the basis for a modification of child custody. We hope you find this blog post useful helping you understand how the trial court is charged with custody modification cases. Stability and permanency are key considerations, but may be overcome with the right evidentiary showing.
Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys practice through the state of Indiana. This information is for general educational information only and should not be considered legal advice or a solicitation for legal representation.