You might divorce your spouse, but you never divorce your children. Whatever happens in your marriage, you will still be your kids’ mother or father. Indiana’s child custody law recognizes that most children benefit from having both parents raising them, even when the parents are divorced, separated or otherwise living apart.
Factors in an Indiana parenting time matter
Like most states, Indiana’s parenting time statute makes the child’s best interests the most important consideration. Other considerations when deciding how parents will split custody include:
- Each child’s age, temperament and maturity level.
- The children’s habits.
- The children’s educational, emotional and health needs
- Each parent’s temperament and how they “fit” with the children’s temperaments.
- Whether either parent is struggling with mental illness or addiction.
- The parents’ abilities to work together to share custody and be flexible as their children’s needs change over time.
- Practical matters like how closely together the parents live, their work schedules, how convenient it is to transport the children between the homes.
The process is extremely fact-based and depends on the needs of the children and their parents. Thus, depending on the circumstances, the parents could end up sharing custody 50-50, one parent could have primary custody with part of the week reserved for the other parent, or one parent could receive sole custody with visitation time for the other. No matter how much parenting time you get, the law preserves your right to call, email, text and otherwise communicate with your children, within reasonable boundaries.
Understandably, parenting time can be a sensitive subject in divorce. However, your attorney can help guide you through the process and work toward a fair and practical plan.