Are you looking to modify your child custody arrangement in the state of Indiana? Significant changes in yours or your child’s life may require a modification to your current child custody plan. If so, here is some information you should know before you attempt to go through the process.
The Best Interest of the Child
One of the most important things to keep in mind with child custody modifications is that the change must be approved by the court. Even if the custodial parents or guardians agree to the modification it still must go through the court for the change to be legal. There are multiple factors that will be considered when granting modifications to the order.
The factor that is considered as the most important in making modifications is the best interest of the child. The best interest of the child is not the same in every case and the courts will look at the situation based on its own merit. The welfare and best interest of the child is always of the utmost importance when making custody modifications.
Arguably one of the simplest ways to make a child custody modification is for both parents to recognize the change in life circumstances and agree to a new custody arrangement. The arrangement would need to be approved by the court. This can typically be done without a hearing.
However, more often than not, the parents will not agree on the changes in custody and will each have their own opinion on how the modification should be made, or if it should be made at all. In situations such as this, the parents, along with their child support attorneys, would need to present their case in court and show that their preferred custody arrangement would be in the best interest of the child.
Child Custody Modification Attorney
In many situations, you could benefit from hiring an attorney that handles child custody modification cases. An attorney with child custody modification experience will be able to guide you through the process. Court orders can be difficult to change and having legal assistance will increase your odds of a good outcome.
Your attorney will aid you in preparing the necessary evidence to present in court when necessary. Here are some examples of the evidence that may be gathered in a child custody modification case to prove that a change is in the best interest of the child:
- Original custody order
- School attendance records and report cards
- Medical records
- Dental records
- Counseling records
- Social media postings
- Relevant photos or videos
- Tax returns and pay stubs
- Work records
- Witness contact information
- Proof of daycare, caregiver, or babysitter costs
- Relationship, location, or job changes
You should be prepared for potentially lengthy hearings if the other party does not agree to your custody modification. It is not uncommon for the other parent to make allegations that you are unsuited to receive more time with the child. This is one of the reasons that it helps to have a child support lawyer on your side, particularly if the other parent has enlisted the help of their own attorney. You will need to prepare for such allegations and be able to present your evidence.