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October 30, 2019

How to Win a Child Custody Fight: What Will the Court Consider?

Divorced parents in a custody fight
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Your children are the most important thing in the world to you. Facing a custody case is stressful and upsetting. Protecting your relationship with your kids is of the utmost priority.

If you are involved in an Indiana child custody fight, you need legal representation that goes above and beyond. The legal team at GDS Law Group provides experienced family court lawyers ready to make your case. Call us today to discuss your custody case at 765-313-7092 .

Indiana Custody Case Standard

Indiana courts determine all custody cases based on what is in the best interests of the child, under Indiana Code Title 31. § 31-14-13-2. There is no automatic presumption that either parent is better. The law requires the court to consider all of the following factors in determining best interests in a child custody fight:

  • The age and sex of the child;
  • The wishes of the child’s parents;
  • The wishes of the child and if the child is over age 14, their opinion carries more weight;
  • The interaction and relationship of the child with the parents, siblings, or anyone one else who could significantly impact what’s in the child’s best interests;
  • The child’s adjustment to their home, school, and community;
  • The mental and physical health of the parents and child and anyone else involved;
  • Evidence of a pattern of domestic or family violence by either parent; and
  • Evidence that the child has been regularly cared for by someone other than the parents in a parental-like role (this is called a de facto custodian)

The court’s goal is to create a custody plan that will benefit the child and allow them to flourish and grow.

How to Make Your Case

For you to win custody, your attorney must be able to convince the court that it would be in the best interests of the child if you received primary custody. It’s important to work closely with your lawyer and collect evidence that supports your case. The court will consider all kinds of evidence such as witness testimony, documents and records, photographs, audio recordings, videos, and your own testimony. In some cases, the judge may speak directly with your child as well.

It can be helpful to gather the following for your attorney:

  • A journal that records the amount of time your child spends with you and the other parent;
  • Documents relating to domestic violence in your home;
  • Records about your child’s medical conditions or special needs;
  • Information about your own medical or special needs condition, if you have one;
  • Work schedules for both parents;
  • Living conditions at both parents’ homes;
  • Relationships with siblings or half siblings as well as parenting schedules for those children if they are not in the home full-time;
  • Information about anyone who lives in either home in addition to the child and parent;
  • Details about your child’s school schedule and activities;
  • General facts about which parent attended activities or managed the child’s school life or activities; and
  • Details about behavior by the other parent that has negatively impacted their ability to parent (such as substance abuse issues, using physical punishment, having a hot temper, etc.)

Custody Case Mistakes

Avoid making these mistakes when you are embroiled in a custody fight:

  • Posting anything on social media that could be detrimental to your case, including photos or videos involving alcohol consumption;
  • Sending your ex threatening messages or voicemails;
  • Missing out on any of your scheduled time with your child;
  • Convincing your child to tell the judge they want to live with you;
  • Failing to send your child on scheduled times with the other parent;
  • Missing any of your child’s doctor appointments, parent teacher meetings, recitals, concerts, or important games while the case is ongoing; or
  • Being late to or missing any scheduled court appearances in your case

Nothing is more important to you than winning your custody case. GDS Law Group has experienced attorneys ready to fight for you and your child. Schedule your appointment with us today by calling 765-313-7092 or use our online contact form.

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