Indianapolis Child Custody Attorney
At Trapp Law, LLC, we understand the importance you place on your children. Our Indianapolis child custody lawyers provide compassionate counsel and assertive representation in all types of child custody and visitation cases, designed to protect our clients’ rights and achieve their goals.
Hire an Indianapolis Child Custody Lawyer from Trapp Law, LLC
We offer creative solutions, customizing our approach in each case to accommodate the needs of our clients and their children. Trapp Law, LLC, assists clients in the resolution of legal problems involving:
- Child custody
- Visitation and parenting time
- Modifications in child custody and visitation
- Proposed child relocations
- Representation in custody disputes
- Termination of parental rights
- Paternity as it relates to custody and visitation
To learn how we can help you achieve your custody or parenting time goals, contact our Indianapolis child custody attorney at Trapp Law, LLC.
What is Parenting Time in Indiana?
Parenting time, also known as visitation, is the time that parents who do not have physical custody spend with the child/children. Parenting time can also be supervised if there is evidence the time spent together could endanger the child’s physical health or significantly impair their emotional development.
How is Child Custody Determined?
In Indiana, judges assigned to custody dispute cases have to look at several factors to determine what type of custody would be in the child’s best interest. The factors include:
- The parents’ wishes
- The sex and age of the child
- The child’s wishes (if they are at least 14 years of age)
- The interaction of the child with their parents and/or siblings
- The mental and physical health of all parties
- The child’s current state in school, the home, and the community
- Record of a pattern of family or domestic violence by either parent.
What are the Types of Child Custody?
Whether married or not, parents who share children together will need to have a custody arrangement in place in the event that they separate. There are several different types of child custody that can be agreed upon between the parties or with legal help.
The parent who is awarded sole custody will be the primary caregiver. The non-custodial parent will only have visitation rights. This type of custody is determined by the lack of relationship the non-custodial and if there has ever been a history of domestic abuse and/or drug and alcohol abuse.
If the parents are amicable, they will file for joint custody. With joint custody, both parents have equal rights in the decision-making process for the children. They will also share financial responsibility for raising the child.
Physical custody is where the child primarily lives with one parent and the parenting time is not shared equally.
Joint Physical Custody
This type of custody means that both children spend an equal amount of time with the children. Custody can rotate weekly or be broken up mid-week. This type of custody typically benefits younger children.
A parent with legal custody is the one responsible for making important decisions regarding the children. They have control over things such as their religion, what school they attend and other important decisions.
How Can Creative Child Custody And Parenting Time Solutions Help?
Almost every parent wants to have 100 percent custody. However, the courts in Indiana tend to favor custody and visitation solutions that allow both parents to share parenting responsibilities. With the help of an Indianapolis child custody lawyer, you can create a custody plan that works for the interests and schedules of both parents. Separating holidays, weekends and other eventful days evenly can make co-parenting easier for all parties involved.
Having parenting time solutions in place can also create a schedule that can give a sense of stability for the child during this transition. By making these important decisions together with the help of a lawyer, the process can be less stressful and emotional for all both parents.
Courts try to always decide custody and visitation matters in ways that protect the “best interest” of the child. An experienced Indianapolis child custody lawyer can play a critical role in a custody dispute by presenting evidence that guides the judge to an outcome that is favorable to a parent.
If a negotiated agreement is not appropriate, Indianapolis child custody attorney Angela Trapp will vigorously represent you in court, seeking a positive outcome for you.
What Rights Does the Non-Custodial Parent Have in Indiana?
A non-custodial parent should have the first right to watch their child in the event that childcare is necessary. But other than that, non-custodial parents have limited rights. They are given reasonable visitation rights and should be allowed to have a relationship with their child when it is reasonable and when it is in the child’s best interests.
Recently, the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines have been amended to afford the non-custodial parent more additional parenting time. The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines are only the minimum, many parents are granted parenting time beyond the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines, based on what the Court determines is in the best interest of their children.
How is Child Custody Determined in Indiana?
Child custody is determined based on what is best interest for the child. It can also be determined by the parent who is most forceful regarding child custody; if a parent doesn’t even try for custody, they are not likely to get it. This is what makes entering into the legal process so important because someone shouldn’t just assume that they won’t get custody. The court will give weight to whether a parent fights for custody or is actively participating in their children’s lives, such as school events, parenting teacher conferences, and extra-curricular activities.
What is the 6 Percent Rule in Indiana?
In Indiana, the 6 Percent Rule means that about 6 percent of child support is considered to be for health care expenses. But this is just a general rule. Of course, some children have more significant healthcare expenses than others, and if a child does have significant healthcare expenses it’s likely that the courts will need to determine the shared costs individually. A custodial parent will need to pay healthcare expenses up to 6 percent of the child support order regardless, but the courts may revisit if the child has significant health issues.
What is the Child Custody Process in Indiana?
In Indiana, there are two types of child custody: physical and legal. Physical custody relates to who the child lives with, but legal custody relates to the individual in charge of financial, religious, and healthcare decisions for the child. As an example, one parent might have physical custody, but both might share legal custody.
Custody is decided upon by family courts. Two parents may come to a custody agreement, and have it validated by the court, or two parents may disagree, may present their cases, and have their cases decided by the court. The decision will always be made based on what’s best for the child. It is important to seek legal counsel when working towards a custody agreement with your child, since you do not want to inadvertently give up rights to raise your children and participate in their lives.
How We Can Help You
Issues of child custody and child support are highly dependent on the courts. Child custody and child support are designed to provide the best outcome for the child. Because of that, the court has to consider many different factors—everything is a gray area. You will need to present your case thoroughly to ensure that you get the best result for yourself and your child. We can help you compile your evidence and your documents, determine what’s really fair for you and your child, and support this in court. Contact us today to find out more.
Contact a Child Custody Attorney in Indianapolis
Contact Trapp Law, LLC, for a free initial consultation about a custody or parenting time matter. Courts try to always decide custody and visitation matters in ways that protect the “best interest” of the child. An experienced Indianapolis child custody lawyer can play a critical role in a custody dispute by presenting evidence that guides the judge to an outcome that is favorable to a parent.
If a negotiated agreement is not appropriate, our Indianapolis child custody attorneys will vigorously represent you in court, seeking a positive outcome for you.