Custody and Parenting Time
Indiana and Kentucky Custody and Parenting Time Matters
In a divorce involving spouses with minor children, it is important to understand that both Indiana and Kentucky law favor significant parenting time with both parents, absent a compelling reason otherwise (such as if one parent has been involved in child abuse). In resolving parenting time and custody issues, the courts do not take into account why the parents are getting a divorce, even if marital infidelity is involved.
What is Best for the Children?
Neither Indiana nor Kentucky courts automatically favor the mother in custody proceedings. Instead, courts will look at many factors impacting the well-being of the children, such as the age of the children, the interaction between the parents and the children, whether there are siblings, the children’s adjustment to their current or new environment, and whether one parent has been the primary caretaker over time. If the children are old enough (generally if they are 14 or older), they may be asked about their wishes, and while this aspect may be taken into consideration by the court it is not the only factor the court will consider.
Important Custody and Parenting Time Issues
The primary objective of the courts in making decisions concerning custody and parenting time will be considering what arrangement is in the best interest of the children. Custody and parenting time involves resolving a number of questions, including:
- Which parent will have primary physical and legal custody for the children,
- How much time will be spent with each parent,
- How will holidays and other times be arranged,
- What decisions will be made on behalf of the children with respect to issues such as where they will go to school, what church they will attend, and other matters, including extra-curricular activities and the payment of those expenses.
As experienced Indiana and Kentucky custody and parenting time lawyers, we know that in most situations, the parents will have a much better idea than the courts in determining what arrangement is best for their children and for themselves. As a result, we work with our clients and opposing counsel in seeking to develop creative solutions to help our clients achieve their primary parenting time goals that will benefit them and their children.
What Happens if the Parents Cannot Agree Upon Parenting Time or Custody Arrangements?
When parents cannot agree upon parenting time or custody arrangements, legal fees and costs can increase significantly. Courts can require mediation, and can order evaluations of parents to determine their capacity to care for their children. Courts can also order the appointment of a guardian ad litem, who is an independent person (often an attorney) whose sole role is to represent the well-being and interests of the children.
With these court orders and actions also come corresponding court dates to hear the results of such findings. Additionally, in highly contentious cases, many times spouses file complaints against each other for real or perceived wrongs, which also may be subject to further court proceedings.
Usually these “scorched earth” tactics are best avoided, as they are costly and often result in emotional damage, not only between the spouses, but more importantly on the children. In many instances, the person initiating such a process may not get as good a result as if they had agreed to a reasonable solution early in the process.
Sometimes, however, our clients will be forced into protracted litigation if their spouse is simply unwilling to enter into a fair resolution. In these situations, we work tenaciously to advance the interests of our clients and their objectives. Our lawyers have decades of experience in representing clients in custody and parenting time matters, and we will advocate forcefully on behalf of our clients in court when necessary.
We Know How Important Your Custody and Parenting Time Matters Are. Call Us Today to Learn More about How We Will Work Hard for You.