At the Mario J. Zappia Law Office, during consultations for divorce and paternity matters, we are asked “How can I get custody of my children?”
Whether the question is legal custody or physical custody, the State of Indiana takes several factors into account. The State of Indiana states that custody is determined by what is in the best interests of the child. While there is a preconceived notion that the State of Indiana favors the mother when it comes to custody, that is not accurate. Most often, the best interests of the child are to have consistent loving relationships with both parents.
So, aside from general involvement from both parents, how does Indiana decide what is in the best interest of the child? Each party’s attorney presents their case and the judge considers the information based on the parameters Indiana has set forth.
The State of Indiana considers everything from siblings, age and sex of the child, where the child goes to school, and the mental health of both parents.
The State of Indiana also takes into consideration the people and family members the child will come in contact with in each of their parent’s residences. For instance, if one party is parading new partners into the home during scheduled parenting time, the Court is likely to take a dim view on the stability of that home.
In some instances, in a divorce or custody matter, the judge may decide that the children involved need their own advocate, aside from their parent’s attorneys. This advocate, called a Guardian Ad Litem, collects information from all parties, including the child, and compiles a report. This report then contains the Guardian Ad Litem’s recommendations to the Court in regard to what is believed to be the child(ren)’s best interest.
Whether you’re embarking on a divorce or a custody matter, getting trusted legal advice is of the utmost importance. Contact the Mario J. Zappia Law Office at (574)277-8720 for your completely confidential consultation.