Child Custody and Visitation

Protecting Parental Rights and Those of the Child

If there is a chance that you may lose custody of your children, it can shut off the rest of the world. Your children are a part of you.

At Abel Reed Williams, LLC, we understand how shattering it can be to fear that you may lose having your own children under your roof. With that understanding comes a fierce determination to help protect your rights. Our Vigo County, as well as Sullivan, Clay, Parke, Vermillion, Putnam, Owen and Greene Counties, law practice is adept at handling this kind of legal issue and can advocate aggressively on your behalf to keep your family together.

Understanding Child Custody

When a couple with children files for divorce, one of the first decisions that must be made is the type of custody and visitation arrangements the couple will use. Indiana courts encourage both parents to stay involved in their child’s life and to formulate their own custody agreement regarding their children.

If a custody arrangement cannot be agreed upon by the parents, a judge will step in and make the custody decisions for them.

Put Our Experience to Work For You

Your child’s future is too important to leave to chance. That is why it is essential in child custody cases to seek the advice of a law firm that has more than 55 years of experience with Indiana family law.

The overriding factor used in custody determinations is what is in the best interests of the child. In making this determination, the judge will examine several factors, including the desires of both parents, the needs and wishes of the child, and the child’s relationship with each of the parents.

Once the judge makes the best interests determination, other issues such as parenting time rights and child support arrangements are usually adjudicated.

Physical and Legal Custody

In a child custody case, there are two types of custody that must be determined – physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody is granted to the party that the child will spend the majority of his or her time with.

The parent who is awarded physical custody is referred to as the custodial parent. The parent who is not awarded physical custody is referred to as the noncustodial parent.

Noncustodial parents will usually be granted visitation rights, including overnight visits, liberal long-term parenting time, and vacations. In some cases, both parents are granted physical custody and are said to share joint physical custody.

Secondly, legal custody of a child gives a parent the right and obligation to make long-term decisions about the child’s upbringing including the child’s religion, medical care, schooling, and other important aspects of the child’s upbringing.

Relocation Issues

Once the court issues an order for custody and parenting time, one parent may wish to move the child to another city or another state. In such cases, the relocating parent must provide a written notice to the other parent of their intention to relocate at least 90 days before the intended move.

The written notice must include the address of the new residence, a phone number where the relocating parent can be reached, the reasons for relocation, and a revised parenting time proposal. Once the written notice of relocation is received, the other parent must file an official objection to the relocation with the court within 60 days of receiving the notice or petition the court for a modification of the custody or parenting time order. A hearing will be held on the non-moving parent’s objections.

Generally, judges do feel that it is truly in the best interests of a child to be nurtured by and bonded to both parents. Therefore, relocation may very appropriately be objected to.

Before you agree to custody arrangements in a divorce proceeding, you should seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney to protect your rights.

Our lawyers are committed to making the dissolution of marriage and child custody cases as stress-free as possible and our mediation practice is designed especially for that purpose. 

Guidance For Divorce Factors Affecting Your Children

Our child custody lawyer knows the system, the judges and other attorneys, and he is not afraid to defend the right to you having your own children. Come into our Terre Haute office and speak with an attorney in a completely confidential consultation. To arrange a time to meet, contact us by phone at 812-238-2121 or with this online email form that goes directly into our firm’s inbox. We look forward to helping you.