Child Custody Lawyer in Indianapolis Advocating for Your Children’s Standard of Living
After a divorce or separation, ensuring a fair and proper arrangement that maintains the same standard of living for your children is the ultimate goal.
In the child custody process, sometimes the decisions needed to get there, however, is half the battle when two partners can’t agree. In Indiana, child support obligations and ensuring a child’s welfare are determined by the Indiana Child Support Guidelines and enforced by the court.
The guidelines are designed to ensure any child custody arrangement puts the best interests of the children first, including maintaining the same quality of living the children would have experienced if their parents stayed together. And it’s the parents’ job to reach an agreement that supports this. Otherwise, the court makes the ultimate decision.
In arriving at the appropriate child support arrangement, the following are some of the factors the court considers:
- Incomes of both parents
- Mental and physical health of both parents
- Whether there are previous or subsequent children to consider
- Whether domestic violence is involved or a harmful environment
- Health insurance coverage and costs
- Daycare expenses
- How much parenting time the non-custodial parent spends with the child or children
- A child’s wishes, if they’re over a certain age
There’s a lot of emotion involved in a separation, divorce, or other situations where child custody is needed. A non-biased perspective from our Indianapolis child custody attorneys can offer direction when there’s little certainty.
If you are involved in a custody dispute, speak with a family law attorney with the Law Office of Corey L. Scott LLC today: (317) 623-4546.
How can I Determine the Best Custody Arrangement for my Child?
Stability is important for children, and this is what the court focuses on in child custody cases. Our experienced child custody lawyers will help you and your partner reach a mutual custody agreement with this in mind, considering your child’s wishes if applicable, other minor children, your child’s education, child support needs, and the best outcome, overall, for your kids and their future.
There are four types of custody arrangements, including:
- Sole legal custody and sole physical custody make one parent in charge of the full decision-making and authority over the child and often includes primary placement. With sole legal custody, the legal parent in charge can dictate child custody and visitation rights.
- Joint physical custody or shared legal custody gives both parents a say in their children’s upbringing and where the children live part- or full-time.
- Joint physical custody or joint legal custody offers both parents an equal share of legal responsibilities in caring for their children, including time spent with both parents.
- Sole legal custody and joint physical custody, in certain situations where this makes sense, one parent can have custody but might not have authority over all decisions, including the primary residence.
In the past, many states ordered legal and physical custody of young children to the mother. Now, if both parents are equally fit to handle childcare responsibilities, both parents are considered if they’re willing and capable of taking on the role.
Legal issues should not get in the way of your child’s best interests, and we are here to help you and your family members explore joint custody, sole custody, and other child custody arrangements that best suit everyone involved.
Can a Child Support Arrangement be Modified?
Child support obligations may be modified for several reasons and can only be approved by the court before they go into effect. Our Indianapolis child custody lawyers can help you file for a change order.
A custody arrangement can be modified if changes to one partner’s situation are substantial, making prior child support payments no longer reasonable or financially feasible.
In another scenario, a child support obligation may be modified after one year and when the amount of support ordered to be paid differs by more than twenty percent from the amount that would be paid by applying the child support guidelines.
It is important to note that parents are always free to modify a child support obligation if they are both in agreement. This can be done by completing the child support obligation worksheet, including required financial documentation from both parties, and submitting this information to the court for approval.
If the parties cannot agree to modify support, either party may seek a modification by filing a petition with the court and requesting that the matter be set for a hearing. The burden to prove that the support obligation is warranted is on the parent seeking the modification.
If you are in need of a child support modification, speak with our Indianapolis child custody lawyers with the Law Office of Corey L. Scott LLC at (317) 623-4546 to see how we can help you.
What if my Spouse Does not Follow our Custody Arrangement?
The primary driver behind the child support guidelines mentioned earlier is that the best interests of the children should be a priority.
When a spouse does not pay child support as dictated by the guidelines or obligations are not being met as outlined in the child custody arrangement, a child’s welfare has been compromised, and as such, the children are seemingly forced to live below the desired standard of living. This is a clear violation of the guidelines, and you can file a petition with the court to reinforce the agreement or face consequences.
In response to this serious issue, the Indiana state legislature has provided serious and substantial consequences for those that fail to pay child support obligations. Specifically, if you are delinquent in paying child support, you could be subjected to the following consequences:
- Driver’s license suspension
- Professional license suspension, including attorneys, teachers, and more
- Felony criminal conviction
- Interception of tax refunds
- Loss of employment
- Violation of probation
The consequences of not paying child support can negatively impact your future, and possibly your child custody and visitation rights, and parental rights. You might want to consider the benefits of having our experienced child custody lawyers resolve the situation on your behalf.
Can a Child Custody Lawyer Help us Determine the Best Arrangement?
The best child custody arrangement depends on your family dynamics and creating as seamless a transition as possible to help children adapt to two homes and a split household.
Our child custody lawyers can help you determine the best solution for you, other family members, and your children, from legal and physical custody to joint physical custody to a parenting time schedule and visitation rights to help maintain your children’s former lifestyle.
At the same time, when legal issues arise, or decision-making becomes a challenge between parents, we can provide valuable insight and direction to reach the end goal, which is a beneficial custody agreement that ensures your children’s happiness and quality of living.
When you choose legal representation with the Law Office of Corey L. Scott LLC, we are well-versed in family law, child custody arrangements, child support, and more. We will ensure all parties involved are protected.
If you are seeking child custody, need assistance with child support, or have a custody legal issue, turn to a child custody lawyer to discuss your case and possible solutions, including legal representation.
Our Indianapolis child custody attorneys can review your custody case today. Pick up the phone and book a free, confidential consultation today: (317) 623-4546.