In Indiana, a child's wishes regarding custody do not prevail until the child is at least 14 years old, to help minimize any undue influence from a parent. However, the preference of a child under the age of 14 will not be fully discounted. Unfortunately, Steve's well-meaning friends had conveyed a common error to him in interpreting the law in Indiana. The fact is, under Indiana law, there is no age when a child can choose which parent they will live with.
If you think about it, it makes sense. Reasonable parents often don't allow their minor children to make important life decisions on their own because we know that children are not equipped with the maturity and life experience to be able to do so reliably. So, if this is the case, if it is true that there is no age at which a child can decide, why are so many people wrong? Joint custody can also be granted if Indiana's child custody laws and courts consider it to be in the best interests of the child. Indiana child custody laws and family courts do not initially assume that the best interests of the child are satisfied with one parent and not the other.
Only one of those eight factors has anything to do with the child's wishes, and the law states that a court can give more consideration to the child's wishes if the child is at least 14 years of age. Indiana child custody laws often make this process difficult to discourage any request for unnecessary changes. When a court decides who will receive custody of a child for the first time, the general consideration is the best interests of the child. Joint legal custody would allow both parents to be responsible for making decisions for their child.
Indiana child custody laws can grant an amendment if there is substantial evidence that, without the proposed change, the best interests of the child will be seriously harmed. In addition, Indiana appellate courts have held that if a child's desire to live with the other parent is the only reason a custody modification is sought, the change in custody must be denied. Thirteen states do not have statutes that require a judge to consider the child's preference when deciding custody. All states allow judges to consider a child's preference in a custody case, as long as the child is mature enough.
Today, many family law professionals and even laws within certain states use terms such as “parenting arrangements” or “parental responsibility”, among others, when referring to matters related to legal and physical custody of children. Custody in the Physical Sense Indiana child custody rules do not judge whether the parent is the best parent based on the father's sexual orientation or gender identity. Indiana child custody laws and courts consider the following factors when considering a joint legal or physical custody order. When parents cannot reach an agreement, the judge decides which custody agreement would serve the best interest of the child.
If a co-parent wants to modify their custody agreement, Indiana child custody laws require that they submit reasonable evidence to the court that it is necessary.