In Indiana, the judges must follow the child custody laws in accordance to the eight factors, which decide what is in the best interest of the child.
Age and gender of the child are major influences in helping the judge decide where the child would be the happiest. It is found that some of the judges will speak with the child privately if they have reached 14 years of age and ask them directly who they choose to live with the parent or third party guardian. The judge may also contact a close sibling or relative to have more insight on the child’s preference, their home and school upbringing and whether there is any abuse in the home.
The judge exercises immediate action if there is any sign of child abuse in the home. Furthermore, a child who has been cared by a de-facto who is not a legal guardian with strong compelling evidence may also be considered as a possible solution to be the caretaker of the child.
If parents prefer joint custody, they might consider being respectful to one another to show the court that they are able to maintain mutual respect for each other, and be comfortable around each other. Deciding whether both or only one parent will be given full custody is determined by the court looking at additional factors, such as the behavior the parents exhibit towards each other, and if they are able to get along, whether the spouses live in close proximity, the parents are able to provide child support to their offspring, and whether the child has a close bond with both parents.
If you are unsatisfied with your custody arrangement and visitation arrangement and would like to, then you may want to hire an experienced lawyer with a background in Family law who can help modify your visitation agreement plan.