Securing Fair Custody Agreements For Parents And Children
Negotiating a child custody agreement is often a stressful task, even when estranged parents see eye-to-eye on other issues. It is natural to embrace a “winner-take-all” mentality when you are determining physical custody and legal custody.
Unfortunately, there are rarely winners in custody battles – and it’s not the children who come out ahead at the end of a dispute. The negative impact that this type of family law conflict can have on a child’s emotional and mental health can last years, damaging the child-parent relationship in the process.
Your child custody matter doesn’t need to have this negative conclusion. If you are struggling with a sensitive custody matter, depend on me, attorney Mary Beth Mock. I have helped many family law clients secure fair child custody terms that protect their children’s welfare as well as their parenting rights. Please contact my Madison office today to get a skilled, compassionate ally by your side.
Understanding Child Custody In Indiana
Indiana’s custody laws can be difficult to understand and apply if you do not have a strong legal background. But, basically, the terms of the agreement can be broken down into two sections:
- Legal custody, which refers to a parent’s decision-making rights regarding education, religion and medical care.
- Physical custody, which refers to the place where the child will stay.
Parents can decide if they want to share each type of custody, which is known as “joint custody.” Or they can request full, or “sole,” custody. Family court judges will not approve sole custody without considering the unique circumstances of a request. Except in cases of abuse or neglect, legal custody is usually split equally between parents.
Delving Deeper Into Physical Custody
In the past, family court judges would give preference to mothers when awarding physical custody. Today there is no presumption in favor of either parent. Rather, the judge considers all relevant factors and determines custody in accordance with the child’s best interests. Factors that affect a judge’s ruling on physical custody include:
- The child’s adjustment to his or her home, school and community
- How each child’s relationships with his or her parents and siblings affect the child’s best interests
- The mental and physical health of each parent
- The mental and physical health of each child
- The wishes of the child with more consideration given to the child’s wishes if the child is at least 14 years of age
- The ages and gender of the children
If you and the parent of your children cannot reach an agreement on custody terms, do not leave your case to chance. Retaining an experienced lawyer can help you create a strong argument that supports your needs and goals. I know how to present compelling arguments before judges, and I will work tirelessly to get the results that you deserve.
Whether you are unmarried, separated or divorced, you have a right to have a place in your child’s life and have a role in your child’s upbringing. When you hire me, I will take the time necessary to educate you on your legal options and the possible outcomes of the decisions that you choose to make.
You deserve to have a proven and caring legal advocate by your side during this overwhelming time. Connect with me to get started.