Child Custody Modification Lawyer
Life is defined by change. What once seemed like a match made in heaven has become a problematic relationship that has led to a separation – or maybe, for some, even divorce.
If you have traveled the above legal path to a separation or divorce and are the parents of one or more minor children, you are likely to be familiar with the processes required in the creation and administration of a child custody agreement.
When finalized in an Indiana family court, child custody agreements are designed to provide for the best interests of your children. But, as noted above, because life is characterized by inevitable change, Indiana law recognizes the unpredictability of life. Therefore, the law provides for revisions in order to meet the changing needs and requirements of your child’s life.
If the initial custody arrangement decision was based on the facts and situation relevant to one of the partners, and those factors have changed, you can petition the court to review a potential modification of the terms of the original custody arrangement.
Revising an existing Indiana child custody agreement might be the right and necessary decision; however, child custody modifications can be a complex process in the State of Indiana. If your situation as a parent has been altered in a way that affects the best interests of the children, it is important to speak with a seasoned child custody modification lawyer.
A child custody modification attorney offers professional guidance that can help you substantiate the need for the agreement’s change as well as accurately request the change to the child custody arrangement. At Church, Langdon, Lopp, Banet (CLLB) Law, our team has the skills and experience to help you negotiate the legal path leading to a child custody agreement modification.
CLLB has extensive experience practicing family law in Indiana, which allows us to leverage our collective knowledge to help revise an Indiana child custody agreement to better provide the care and support your children need.
Contact Church, Langdon, Lopp, Banet Law today at 812-725-8226 or online to schedule a consultation and learn how our legal skills and experience can best help you achieve your goals.
Child Custody Agreements and Modifications: An Overview
What is Detailed & Determined in an Indiana Child Custody Agreement
If you have been in any of the following situations, you need a child custody lawyer:
- You are currently separated (as in the case of unmarried co-parents) or divorced
- You share the parenting responsibilities of one or more children
- You have been through the relevant legal proceedings that have to do with dissolving the marriage and setting up a co-parenting plan moving forward.
Most co-parents find the help of an attorney quite valuable when developing a child custody plan that protects the best interests of their child or children, because it can be quite challenging for parents to come to a mutual agreement. There is often a great deal of animosity between couples who are separating. Additionally, their ideas regarding raising children can be vastly different.
Issues, including parenting time and child support, are often disputed. In Indiana, the rules and processes relating to modifying child custody agreements are governed under § 31-17-2-21.
The Two Fundamental Aspects of Child Custody Arrangements
When discussing the concept of child custody, there are two important aspects to consider – physical custody and legal custody.
The concept of physical custody refers to where the children will be physically located or where they will spend their time on any particular day. There are a few options concerning physical custody –
- Shared physical custody means both parents have the right to spend time with the children. This time may be equal or not.
- If one parent is given primary physical custody, the other parent arranges for specific visitation or parenting time.
Legal custody is a concept that refers to who has the right to make significant or major decisions that arise in a child’s life. These may include how to parent the child and the child’s religion, health care, or education issues as well.
Note that parents can have joint legal custody, or it can be granted to one parent. Parents can have sole legal custody. In Indiana, shared custody is very much a commonplace occurrence. However, in most cases, for the sake of practicality (and a host of other essential factors), a child may spend more time at one residence.
The parent who resides at the location where the child will reside most often is known as the custodial parent. The other parent is known in this instance as the noncustodial parent. It’s important to understand that both parents have custody, despite the terminology used. Even when life events and obligations do not permit equal physical custody to be possible, parents often agree to joint legal custody.
The court’s intention is to consider and weigh the evidence as to what is in the best interests of the child. When determining child custody in Indiana, a family court judge will consider a variety of factors (Ind. Code §31-17-2-8).
- The age and gender of each child
- What each parent is requesting
- The relationship that exists between the parents and the children
- Where each parent lives
- The parents’ competence and safety
- What the child wants – especially for those 14 and older
- The arrangements for other siblings
- Relevant caregivers for the children
- The child’s school and activity routine
- The proximity to friends
- Previous domestic violence on either parent’s part.
Why Choose Us
If you are a responsible parent/guardian named in an Indiana custody agreement but need assistance in modifying its terms due to unanticipated life changes or events, it is essential you reach out for experienced help from a child custody lawyer who can guide you as you navigate what can be a complex path to a revision of a child custody agreement.
Child Custody Agreements in Indiana are Legally Binding
Once you sign an agreement regarding the details of a separation, divorce, or child custody, the agreement is legally binding – meaning the parties involved consciously agreed to it and this establishes legal accountability.
In other words, the details in a finalized child custody agreement require each party to comply as directed. This means that you must abide by its terms as written. When the judge signs the child custody agreement, it is now also considered a court order requiring compliance.
Most child custody agreements delineate the specific responsibilities of each parent. An agreement may include the following –
- Parenting schedules, typically detailing scheduling for weekends, holidays, and vacations
- Plans for how the child’s school and extracurricular activities will be managed by each parent
- Child support payments
- Often, the agreement outlines provisions for dispute resolution.
Remember that the basis of this legal document happens at one unique moment in time and is designed to protect your child’s best interests under a very specific set of circumstances, evidenced by documentation submitted to the court for its review.
However, as life changes, so do the needs of the children the initial agreement seeks to help. What happens when the basis of the original child custody agreement changes?
In Indiana, the law provides for a modification to a child custody agreement under certain circumstances, set forth in Indiana Code Title 31. Family Law and Juvenile Law §31-17-2-21.
Child Custody Modifications are a Reality
Child custody agreements, as noted above, are legally binding. However, there are options available to help you meet the changing needs of your family.
Should you encounter any significant change in the circumstances of your life or situations which put your child in danger, you should know that each of these situations is a legitimate reason to seek a modification of your existing agreement, including revising the scheduling of parenting time and more.
If either of the above-noted circumstances mirrors your life, it may be in your best interests to see if you can revise some of the details in the original custody agreement. However, when choosing to modify a child custody agreement, it is best to engage the professional legal guidance of a reputable child custody modification lawyer.
Our Child Custody Modification Lawyers Address Change Head On
The team of legal professionals at Church, Langdon, Lopp, Banet Law can help you reach your custody agreement modification objectives. They can help you complete all child custody modification forms.
Don’t undertake this alone. Instead, leverage the experience of a seasoned professional at Church, Langdon, Lopp, Banet Law. Give them a call today at 812-725-8226, or contact us online.
Understanding the Reasons to Modify Child a Custody Agreement
Child custody modification agreements are considered a common occurrence in Indiana — and pretty much across the country. It would be completely unrealistic and impractical to believe that (a) your life, (b) your ex’s life, and (c) your children’s lives will remain the same, without change.
As time passes, each parent works to build a new life; as their children grow, their needs change. This is actually a positive evolution, but it can cause you to need the help of a child custody modification attorney and the courts.
If there have been material changes to the lives of anyone in the original child custody agreement, a judge may grant your request for a modification of your child custody agreement if it is the court’s opinion that the request has been shown to be in the best interests of your child.
If you believe you have the grounds necessary to modify an existing child custody agreement and that your requests for the modification will be in the best interests of your children, the child custody modification attorneys at CLLB can help you effect the change you believe to be in your child’s best interests.
Child Custody Modification First Step
The first step in the modification request process is to file a petition for modification of your custody agreement. Most Indiana child custody agreements are written to meet the standards set forth by the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines.
After the request has been filed, your ex has two choices when responding:
- Agree to the changes you have detailed in your filed petition
- Or contest them.
If an agreement to the modification of the agreement is not possible, a court hearing may be required to find a resolution.
During this hearing, the legal team at CLLB Law will represent you and help to prove that the modifications to the child custody agreement that you have requested are vital for the well-being of your children.
As with every child custody agreement, the courts in Indiana are primarily concerned with determining what is in the best interests of the child.
CLLB Child Custody Lawyers Address Your Specific Concerns
When it comes to child custody agreements and their modifications, there are many facets and aspects that need to be understood, which can be overwhelming.
Remember, the reason you want the best representation when trying to modify child custody arrangements is that the structure of your family life and your child’s upbringing hang in the balance until there is an approved change.
At CLLB Law, we offer a personalized and customizable approach to child custody modification matters. Our experience has taught us that no two family situations are alike, and while we have the skill to leverage our legal experience, it remains important to ensure that we respond to the issues of concern for each family individually.
How We Can Help
How To Win a Custody Modification Case: Leverage Our Experience and Knowledge
When life’s changes necessitate modifications to your child custody agreement, there is no time to waste. You want to address your issues quickly to ensure your child receives the best care possible.
CLLB’s lawyers have handled countless child custody modification cases as a team of seasoned professionals. Through their tireless work, our attorneys have provided Indiana families with personalized legal services for many decades.
We appreciate what our clients want, what their situation requires, and what is best for their families. We understand the urgency of these requests that often accompany child custody matters.
Contact us today at 812-725-8226 to schedule a consultation to learn how we can help you and begin the process necessary to make the changes needed to offer you the best for your children.
FAQs About Child Custody Modification
How Difficult is it to Modify an Indiana Child Custody Agreement?
If the Changes Were to be Made, Would Your Child Be in a Better Position?
When are Parenting-Time Modifications Necessary?
Do I Need an Attorney to Modify My Child Custody Agreement?
When Can My Child Custody Agreement be Modified?
Where Would My Modification Request be Filed?
What Should I Do if I Currently Live in Indiana, But My Child Custody Agreement was Entered into in a Different State?
Should you need additional information that was not specifically covered by the FAQs section, please reach out to us to schedule a meeting where we can learn more about you, your family, and the changes you want to make to your agreement. We can then provide answers tailored to your situation.
Attorney Dana Eberle-Peay
Dana is a native of Southern Indiana and is deeply devoted to Kentuckiana. After spending most of her life in Floyds Knobs, she has also lived in Greenville, New Albany, and Georgetown. Allowing Dana to become familiar with every town of Floyd County. She oversees the Family Law practice area for CLLB, and she firmly believes that helping families is her destiny. [ Attorney Bio ]