What You Need to Know About Custody Modification

If you have a current custody arrangement through a divorce or paternity proceeding, then you are not new to the litigation process. Custody arrangements can be modified throughout the course of the child’s adolescent years to better fit the circumstances of the parents and the child. Further, as there are constant changes in people’s lives, whether good or bad, it is an opportunity to also consider how these changes impact the child. This blog will discuss custody modification and the need for a competent family law attorney to assist with this.

First, it must be noted that the court has continuing jurisdiction during the parents’ lives and the child’s life until they are 18 years old. Pursuant to Indiana Code 31-30-1-12, “a court having jurisdiction under IC 31-17-2 of a child custody, parenting time, or child support proceeding in a marriage dissolution has concurrent original jurisdiction with the juvenile court for the purposes of modifying custody, parenting time, or child support of a child who is under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court because: (1) the child is the subject of a child in need of services proceeding; (2) the child is the subject of a juvenile delinquency proceeding that does not involve an act described under IC 31-37-1-2; or (3) the child is the subject of a paternity proceeding.” One of the most crucial components to a custody modification is that you must show a substantial change in circumstances. Further, a change in circumstances as it relates to the child and how this change impacts on the child’s best interests. Indiana Code 31-17-2-21 explains, “[t]he court may not modify a child custody order unless: (1) the modification is in the best interests of the child; and (2) there is a substantial change in one (1) or more of the factors that the court may consider under section 8 and, if applicable, section 8.5 of this chapter.” Additionally, the court will not hear evidence on events that occurred before the last custody proceeding unless applicable.

The factors the court will consider in making their modification determination are explained in Indiana Code 31-17-2-8. Some of the factors are the child’s age and sex, the wishes of the child’s parents, the relationship of the child with their parents and siblings, the child’s adjustment to home, school, and community. Additionally, the parents have the opportunity to present their argument for and against the modification to be heard before the judge. It is important that you have a competent attorney with years of experience in family law. A skilled attorney will know how to present your argument for or against a custody modification matter.

Ciyou & Associates, P.C. has skilled and experienced attorneys in the family law practice throughout the state of Indiana. The attorneys at Ciyou & Associates, P.C. know how to navigate contentious custody battles and deal with narcissistic ex partners. We are here to assist you in presenting your best case for custody modification before the court. This blog post was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Associates, P.C. and this blog is not intended as specific legal advice or solicitation of services, as this is an advertisement.


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