How Can I Increase My Chances of Securing A Better Custody Arrangement in Indiana?

If you are facing a child custody case in Indiana, you may be wondering how you can increase your chances of obtaining a favorable custody arrangement. While there is no guaranteed formula for success in a child custody case, there are several steps you can take to prepare yourself and your matter for the best possible outcome. This blog explores frequently asked questions regarding Indiana child custody and offers some key strategies for increasing the chances of obtaining a better custody arrangement.

If you need assistance with an Indiana child custody matter, we invite you to call Mattox & Wilson at 812-944-8005 to schedule a consultation with an experienced New Albany child custody attorney. We also invite you to read through the following article to learn more about frequently asked questions about child custody, as well as strategies for increasing the likelihood of securing a favorable custody outcome.

Indiana Child Custody FAQs:

What Factors Do Indiana Courts Consider When Making Custody Decisions?

Indiana courts make custody decisions based on the best interests of a child. They consider a wide range of factors when making this determination, including (but not limited to):

  • The child’s age, sex, and health;
  • The wishes of each parent;
  • The wishes of the child (with more consideration given to a child’s preference if the adolescent is at least fourteen years of age);
  • The child’s relationship with each parent, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests;
  • The child’s adjustment to community, home, and school;
  • Each parent’s physical and mental health; and
  • Any history of domestic violence or substance abuse.[1]

What Types Of Custody Arrangements Are Available In Indiana?

Indiana generally recognizes two types of custody: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to where a child will live and who will be responsible for their daily care. Legal custody refers to the authority to make major decisions about a child’s upbringing, such as education, medical care, and religious upbringing. Custody can be awarded solely to one parent (sole custody) or shared between both parents (joint custody).

Can A Child’s Preference Be Taken Into Account In Indiana Child Custody Decisions?

Yes, Indiana law allows a child’s preference to be taken into account in custody decisions, but it is not the only factor that the court considers. The weight given to a child’s preference depends on several factors, including the child’s age, maturity, and reasons for their preference, as well as any other relevant factors.

In Indiana, there is no specific age at which a child’s preference becomes determinative; however, greater consideration is given if a child is at least fourteen years of age. For younger children, the court may consider their preference but will also take into account other factors, such as the child’s relationship with each parent, the stability of the home environment, and the parents’ ability to meet the child’s needs.

It is important to note that a child’s preference is not the only factor that Indiana family law courts consider, and it may not be the deciding factor in custody decisions. The court will always prioritize the best interests of the child over any individual preference. Additionally, it is important to remember that the child’s preference may change over time as they grow and develop, and the court may need to revisit custody arrangements accordingly.

Overall, while a child’s preference can be taken into account in Indiana child custody decisions, it is just one of many factors that the court considers when making these important determinations. Parents and their attorneys should be prepared to present evidence and arguments based on all relevant factors to make the strongest case for their desired custody arrangement. As experienced New Albany child custody attorneys, we can listen to the facts of your case, explain your legal options, and tenaciously fight for the best possible outcome in your custody case.

Do Indiana Courts Favor Mothers Over Fathers In Child Custody Matters?

No, Indiana courts do not favor mothers over fathers in child custody matters. Indiana law requires that custody decisions be made in the best interests of the child, without regard to the gender of the parents.

As mentioned above, Indiana law specifically states that the court must consider a variety of factors when making custody decisions, including the child’s age and sex, the wishes of the parents, the child’s relationship with each parent, and any history of domestic violence or substance abuse. Indiana courts also recognize that children benefit from having a meaningful relationship with both parents whenever possible.

While there may have been a historical preference for awarding custody to mothers in the past, this is no longer the case in Indiana or in many other states. Today, courts are much more likely to consider each parent’s abilities and willingness to care for the child, as well as the child’s best interests, when making custody decisions.

If you have questions or concerns regarding child custody, we invite you to call Mattox Wilson to schedule a consultation with an experienced New Albany custody attorney today to learn how we can tenaciously fight for your rights.

What Steps Can I Take To Increase My Chances of Obtaining A Favorable Child Custody Arrangement?

Now that we have covered some basic information about child custody in Indiana, let’s explore some strategies for increasing your chances of obtaining a favorable custody arrangement.

  1. Hire an experienced Indiana child custody attorney. One of the most important steps you can take to increase your chances of obtaining a better custody arrangement is to hire an experienced Indiana child custody attorney. A lawyer who focuses on family law can provide you with invaluable guidance and support throughout the custody process, from filing the initial petition to representing you in court. They can also help navigate the complex legal system and seek to ensure that your rights and interests are protected.


  1. Be prepared and organized. When it comes to child custody cases, preparation is key. You will need to gather and organize a wide range of information and documents to present to the court, such as financial statements, medical records, and school records. Make sure you have all the necessary information and documents in order before your court date. Additionally, be prepared to answer any questions the judge may ask you about your ability to care for your child.


  1. Maintain a positive relationship with your child. Your relationship with your child is a critical factor in custody decisions. Make sure you maintain a positive and healthy relationship with your child and spend as much time with them as possible. Be involved in their school and extracurricular activities, and make sure you are actively involved in their day-to-day lives.


  1. Consider mediation or collaborative law. In some cases, mediation or collaborative law can be an effective alternative to a contentious court battle. These processes allow you and your ex-partner to work together to create a custody arrangement that meets the needs of both you and your child. Alternative dispute resolution can also be less expensive and time-consuming than traditional litigation.


  1. Be honest and forthcoming with your attorney. Your attorney can only provide you with the best possible representation if you are honest and forthcoming with them. Be open and honest about any potential challenges or weaknesses in your case, as well as any strengths or advantages you may have. Your attorney can use this information to build a strong and compelling case.


  1. Follow court orders and instructions. If you have already gone through the custody process and have been given a court order, it is important that you follow it to the letter. Failure to comply with court orders can be seen as a lack of responsibility and may harm your chances of obtaining a better custody arrangement in the future.


  1. Keep detailed records. Keep detailed records of all communication and interaction with your ex-partner, especially if there is any conflict. This can help demonstrate your commitment to maintaining a positive relationship with your child and can also be used as evidence in court.


  1. Seek professional help if needed. If you are struggling with mental health issues, substance abuse, or other challenges that may impact your ability to care for your child, seek professional help. Not only can this improve your own well-being, but it can also demonstrate to the court that you are taking responsibility for your own issues and actively working to improve.


  1. Be willing to compromise. Compromise and flexibility are key in custody cases. Be willing to work with your ex-partner to find a custody arrangement that works for both of you and your child. Remember that your child’s best interests should always be the top priority.


  1. Stay focused on your child. Ultimately, the most important thing in a custody case is the well-being and happiness of your child. Stay focused on what is best for them and make decisions that prioritize their needs over your own. By keeping your child’s interests at the forefront of your mind, you can increase your chances of obtaining a better custody arrangement in Indiana.

Schedule A Consultation With An Experienced New Albany Child Custody Lawyer.

If you are facing a contentious child custody battle in Indiana, it is crucial to have an experienced custody lawyer by your side. At Mattox & Wilson, our Indiana child custody attorneys can help navigate the complexities of the legal system and seek to protect your rights as a parent. Don’t wait any longer to secure the legal representation you need. Call Mattox & Wilson today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards seeking a positive outcome in your child custody case.

[1] Ind. Code § 31-14-13-2.

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