Family Law Basics in Indiana

When the parents of children decide to either divorced, file for a legal separation, or otherwise part ways, the family dynamic changes. There must be discussions about who retains custody of the children, who pays child support, and you must come up with a visitation schedule that meets everyone’s needs.

As you could imagine, this can often create issues when the parents cannot to come to an arrangement that makes everyone happy. In cases like these, it would be beneficial to get a good family law attorney to help you work through these important issues.

Coming Up With A Parenting Plan That Works

When discussing the details of your parenting plan, the most important thing is what is in the best interest of the children. This is going to be the most critical factor if the courts end up having to make decisions for you.

Before you can make decisions regarding child support, you must work together to decide with whom the children will reside, how you’ll share custody, and formulate a visitation plan that works for the whole family.

Custody Arrangements

The children often live with one parent, referred to as the custodial parent. They follow the visitation schedule to spend time with the other parent, the non-custodial parent.

Then, you must decide if the two of you can make important decisions together regarding your children. If you can, you enter into a joint custody agreement. If one parent prefers to make all the decisions without consulting with the other parent, you’ll be looking at a entering into a sole custody arrangement.

A Visitation Schedule

Once custody has been decided, you must work out a visitation schedule. Almost any arrangement that works best for the family is an option, as long as it’s in the best interest of the children. However, most families agree to a standard visitation agreement as follows:

The non-custodial parent will have the children two overnights during the week, and every other weekend from 5pm on Friday until they drop the children off at school on Monday morning. Each parent will have two weeks of uninterrupted visitation time during summer breaks, and parents will divide holidays with one parent having the children on even-numbered years and the other parent having the children on odd-numbered years.

Determining Child Support

The non-custodial parent is often the one who pays child support to the custodial parent. Child support is calculated by considering both parents income and expenses. The judge determines how much of each parents income should go towards raising the children.

Then, the judge adjusts the amount of child support, based on what the non-custodial parent can afford to pay while still supporting themselves. Child support agreements can also contain provisions that divide health care expenses, school supplies and clothing, extracurricular activity costs, and other expenses that might arise over time.

A Dedicated Family Law Attorney In Indiana Can Help You

Discussions involving child custody, visitation arrangements, and child support payments can end up getting quite messy. Sometimes, the best way to avoid a difficult situation is to involve a compassionate family law attorney who can help you work with the other parent of your child to come to arrangements that serve the best interest of the entire family.