Advocating For You In Child Custody Matters
Child custody is always determined by what is in the best interests of the child. There are two types of custody, legal custody and physical custody. A legal custodian has the ability to make decisions for the child such as school, religious or medical issues. Often parents are granted joint legal custody of the child(ren). Physical custody refers to whom the child(ren) will primarily live with. The noncustodial parent will be granted parenting time.
In Indiana, there is a presumption that parenting time will be granted in accordance with the Indiana parenting time guidelines; however, there can always be deviations when it is in the best interests of the child. Deviations could include joint custody where the parents work out different timesharing arrangements or supervised custody when there are concerns about the ability of the noncustodial parent caring for the child alone. In Kentucky, some jurisdictions have visitation guidelines; frequently cases will be referred to mediation or a parenting time coordinator if the parties cannot agree on parenting time.
Typically only those who are related by blood can get court-ordered visitation with a child. However, in some circumstances, a stepparent can be granted visitation with the child. These types of situations are when a stepparent has raised the child as if he or she was their own, and, of course, it is in the best interests of the child.
In both Kentucky and Indiana, grandparents can petition the court for visitation with their grandchildren. The court will grant this if it is in the best interests of the child(ren).
Modifications To Child Custody
After a custody order has been made, a court typically does not like to see this disturbed for at least two years for purposes of maintaining stability in the lives of the children. However, if there is a substantial change in circumstances, a modification can be requested. Ultimately, any modification will be determined based on the best interests of the child(ren).