Custody is initially determined by the courts in divorce or paternity by considering statutory factors, including the age of the child, his/her adjustment to their home, school, community, and the mental and physical health of all individuals involved.1 In this situation, there is no preference for either parent. Psychologically and socially, children need stability so custody is not as easy to modify. However, custody can be modified by a court upon a showing of substantial change in the initial custody factors, and that a modification would be in the child’s best interests.2 There are numerous reasons why parents seek to modify ...
December 26, 2017CD
Making the Factual Showings in Custody Modification Almost every two people hear about a situation and come up with a different opinion. This is because second hand reporting removes the context and non-verbal communication that may be present, such as grimaces, winces, and other body language. Because of this, the Indiana Court of Appeals and Indiana Supreme Court give great deference to trial court judges in custody modification cases. In cases where there is a pure factual dispute, and no question of the application of the law (such as is this the first custody decision or a modification), it is crucial litigants ...
March 24, 2016Adam Hayes
In Indiana, the term custody includes two distinct concepts, namely physical and legal custody. Physical custody generally refers to the parent with whom the child will spend the majority of overnights with during a year. Legal custody focuses on which parent (or both) make major decisions for the children, focusing on health, education and religion. This blog post explores these and modification and division of this legal decision-making. In a majority of cases, legal custody is not at issue at all or to the degree with physical custody. Many parents were drawn together as a couple because of similar views on ...
March 15, 2016Adam Hayes
Any seasoned divorce attorney has observed the line between love and hate, passion and rage, and similar contrasts are narrow, contradictory, or even overlapping at times. The very dynamics that drove one person to fall in love with the other and have children can be the source of annoyance or worse upon divorce during custody and parenting time. Custody and parenting time are always subject to the divorce court’s jurisdiction and making an initial custody decision or modification based on what is in the child’s best interests.1 As such, attorneys are frequently presented with questions on how to make a given ...
April 7, 2015Adam Hayes
Child custody is often one of the lengthiest processes in family law, and continues on, often for several years until the child is emancipated. Custody is often ongoing and fluid. Maybe the work schedule of the parents has changed or a parent is required to move for a job. These and many other factors can cause custody or parenting time modification to be filed and addressed, either by agreement or Court Order. In order to modify child custody, there are several factors that are explored, including, the age and sex of the child, the relationship with the child’s parents and siblings, ...
January 6, 2015CD
In family law matters and matters involving custody modification, the underlying basis is what is in the best interests of the children. However, what about the direct wishes of a child? How are those determined and used in initial custody matters and modification of custody? Custody can be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances and the modification is in the best interests of the child1. The factors to be considered to determine if there has been a substantial change in circumstances include many parts, including the age and sex of the child, the child’s adjustment to home, school, ...
October 16, 2014CD
Once an initial custody determination is made and parenting time is determined, it is not etched in stone. However, a modification of custody requires more than simply stating “this is not working out”. The party seeking to modify child custody must show that there has been a substantial change in the factors for determining custody, and a modification is in the best interests of the child1. Some major events can give rise to a petition to modify custody due to the serious nature of the event. For example, if the custodial parent seeks to move 20 hours away, this may be ...
September 2, 2014CD
There are two (2) types of custody placements-initial and modification. Initial custody is determined at an early hearing-for example, a hearing to establish paternity or a final dissolution hearing in a divorce. Any change or amendment to custody after that initial custody determination is known as a custody modification. Initial custody and custody modification are based on several factors, and is based upon the best interests standard (i.e. what is in the best interest of the children). Other factors to be considered include the age of the child, the wishes of the parent(s), interaction with other family members, and adjustment to ...
June 26, 2014CD
In family law matters, custody will be determined as an initial matter to a divorce or paternity proceeding1 or can be later modified once it has been established2. There are several factors that determine physical and legal custody, with the best interest of the child(ren) being paramount. However, once custody is established, can custody be changed? The answer generally is yes; however, there are limitations to changing or modifying custody. For example, if an initial custody determination is made and Father is granted physical custody, Mother may file to modify physical custody to her. To achieve this, she would need to file ...
December 7, 2012CD
One rather complex issue is what evidence a parent has to put on at trial to receive more parenting time. Is this burden different from a physical custody modification since the net result can be deemed a change in how much time a child spends with the non-custodial parent, including more overnights, up to equal time? As advocates with a focus on education, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys routinely go over these subtle distinctions with clients. We hope this blog post elucidates your view on these slight-to-major differences. Perhaps you cannot meet the burden to obtain a custody modification, but the ...
April 3, 2012CD