Divorce in Indiana can be a difficult and emotionally draining process. For many couples, the end of a marriage is the conclusion of a hard road. When children are involved, it can be even harder. Of course, in some cases, the parties can come to an agreement on the basic issues and be amicable about it. That, however, is oftentimes rare. With child custody, it is frequently necessary to have a hearing. Parents are commonly concerned about what will happen at the hearing. Understanding the process and knowing what to expect can be important.
It is preferable for the parties to come to an agreement regarding custody without court intervention. Sometimes, the issues are so contentious that this is not possible. A hearing lets the court decide on how the case will be settled. The judge will formulate a child custody decision that serves the best interests of the child. There is no single factor that determines the child’s best interests, but the child’s happiness, health and development are critical.
If there are siblings, the court will take that into account. Being consistent with the child and ensuring there are no complications that will arise from a custody agreement is paramount. The family life, community, schooling – all will be assessed. People will often wonder when the child will have the right to make his or her feelings known regarding custody. In general, the child must be of sufficient emotional maturity to state his or her preference.
Other factors that will be part of the process include if there was abuse in the home, that the child is given a nurturing environment in which he or she can thrive and what the visitation situation will be. For those who are getting a divorce, it is wise to be prepared for all eventualities and that includes a possible child custody hearing.