Each parent has equal custody rights until a court issues a custody order. If the parents are married and can't agree on where the child will live, one parent will need to file a divorce or custody action to get a court order on child custody. Under Indiana's child visitation guidelines, every parent has the right to spend regular time with their child. Parenting time, also known as visitation in other states, is the time that parents without physical custody spend with their children.
In Indiana, a parent who does not have physical custody of a child is still entitled to reasonable parenting time with the child, unless the court holds a hearing and decides that parenting time would jeopardize the child's physical health or significantly harm (cause greater harm) to his or her emotional state and development. For more information on parenting time and visitation, the Indiana Judiciary has published The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines. 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. This type of custody can be joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or both.
Joint legal custody would allow both parents to be responsible for making decisions for their child. They would have to make cooperative decisions regarding important issues in the child's life, such as education, religion, health, etc. Joint physical custody would designate both parents as the custodial parentage of the child. This does not necessarily mean that time is divided equally between parents.
Indiana child custody laws and courts consider the following factors when considering a joint legal or physical custody order. In some cases, a third party, or someone other than the child's biological father, obtains custody of the child. Indiana child custody laws also consider a de facto custodian. If the child is in the care of a third party or has been cared for by a third party, that person may participate in the custody proceeding as a de facto guardian.
With the court's discretion, the de facto guardian can receive custody of the child. This occurs when the court finds that an outside guardian is better suited to care for the child than his parents. Indiana law expresses a preference for parents to share as equitably as possible custody of a child in a divorce case. Members of the Domestic Relations Committee of the Indiana Judicial Conference developed the guidelines after reviewing current and relevant visitation literature, visitation guidelines from other geographical areas, and input from child development experts and family law professionals.
Examples of unacceptable communication interference include a parent refusing to answer a phone or refusing to allow the child or others to answer; a parent recording telephone conversations between the other parent and the child; turning off the phone or using a call blocking mechanism or otherwise. denying the other parent telephone contact with the child. In such circumstances, the responsibility to feed the child the next morning, take him to school or daycare, or return him to the custodial parent's residence, if the child is not in school, will lie with the non-custodial parent. Code § 31-17-2 requires all persons who have (or are seeking) child custody or parenting time and who intend to relocate their residence to notify a person who has (or is seeking) child custody, parenting time, or grandparent visitation.
If a child is taking prescription drugs or under a health care directive, the custodial parent will provide the noncustodial parent with a sufficient amount of medication and instructions as long as the non-custodial parent is exercising parenting time. If a child attends summer school, the parent exercising parenting time will be responsible for the child's transportation and attendance to school. The custodial parent will send an appropriate and adequate supply of clean clothes with the child, and the non-custodial parent will return the clean clothes. Whatever the parents' reason, raising a child out of wedlock can create some confusion regarding custody rights.
Telephone communication with the child by either parent to the residence where the child is located shall be conducted at reasonable hours, shall be of reasonable duration and at reasonable intervals, without interference from the other parent. In a situation where hostility between parents renders the exchange of a child in the parents' residence impracticable, the exchange of the child must take place in a neutral place. It's important for parents seeking a child custody agreement to familiarize themselves with the state's laws, as they often vary slightly across the country. The child and the custodial parent may be entitled to private communications that do not require the participation of the other parent, and both parents may have access to telephone calls with the child for reasonable hours and duration, without interference from the other parent.
Co-parenting requires not only sharing the time and responsibility of raising the child, but a conscious effort to create two homes that are highly unified when caring for and making decisions for a child. When judges face custody disputes, Indiana custody laws require them to apply a list of several factors to decide what is best for the child. . .