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Child Custody

Fort Wayne Family Law Attorney Capably Manages Child Custody Disputes

Reputable Indiana lawyer employs creative strategies to protect parental rights

Your bond with your children is probably the most important aspect of your life. When circumstances, such as a divorce, present challenges to maintaining a loving bond, you need a legal solution that protects your rights, now and in the future. At Patterson Law LLC in Fort Wayne, we understand what’s at stake for you and your children. We work determinedly and creatively to craft a parenting plan that fits your unique circumstances, giving you security and peace of mind. When parents are reasonable, we can generally reach agreement through negotiations. But if there are extraordinary circumstances that require a court hearing, you can rely on our diligent preparation and trial skill, as we fight for your rights and your child’s welfare.

Knowledgeable counselor explains types of child custody in Indiana

Indiana family law divides child custody into two main components:

  • Physical custody — This refers to having the child physically present in your home and the duties that come with providing a residence for the child.
  • Legal custody— This type of custody is decision-making authority, especially with regard to important aspects of a child’s upbringing, such as education, healthcare, religious formation and enrichment activities.

Each type of custody can be either:

  • Sole — Awarded exclusively to one part
  • Joint — Shared on a more or less equal basis

The award of custody can be done in various combinations. Commonly we see:

  • Joint legal and physical custody — A child lives part-time with each parent, and each parent has a say in how the child is raised.
  • Sole physical and joint legal — The child resides full-time with one parent while the other has visitation rights. Each parent has a voice in the child’s upbringing.
  • Sole physical and legal custody — One parent provides a residence for the child and exercises all decision-making authority. The other parent may have visitation rights.

When parents share legal custody, there may be a mechanism included in their plan for resolving disputes without having to go back to court.

There are many factors a court considers when deciding on a custody plan, such as the parents’ relationship, whether a parent is likely to encourage a healthy relationship between the child and the other parent, a parent’s ability to provide a suitable residence for the child, and a parent’s ability to act as a primary caregiver. Work obligations and availability are often key considerations. However, the overriding consideration is “the best interests of the child.” That is the standard the court uses for determining grandparent visitation as well.

Proven advocate assists with modifying a child custody agreement

After the court rules on the issue of custody, the parties are bound by those terms until there is an official modification of the first ruling. This means that if your parenting plan proves impracticable after a divorce or separation, you must ask the court to revise the order. Often, the court requires you to show a substantial change in circumstances or an unwillingness on the part of the other parent to abide by the court order. However, as long as what you’re proposing is in the best interests of the child, and you can show a substantial change in some circumstance, even if it’s only the child’s age, it’s possible to get approval for a modification even if the other parent resists.

Contact an Indiana board-certified family law attorney for a free child custody consultation

Patterson Law LLC in Fort Wayne represents Indiana parents in a variety of child custody disputes. To schedule a free consultation, please call 260-267-7588 or contact us online.

Reviews
  • "Rex was very helpful and understanding of my situation. He was honest and upfront. For everything that he did for me, I am very thankful. I highly recommend Patterson Law LLC." - Hailee Gordon

  • "Rex is absolutely amazing at what he does! I have to say that his professionalism is above and beyond! You knocked it out of the park today my friend! I will speak highly of you and your staff to every single person I know! Thank you!" - Bryan Sanders

  • "I've been working with Rex for what it seems like forever now, he hasn't let me down one time! He works his hardest to get what needs to be done, done! I'd recommend him to anyone!!" - Megan Mitchell

  • "I would highly recommend Patterson Law to anyone! Everyone there is so professional and helpful! Rex took the time to get to know my case and handled it remarkably! Though I hope to never need their services again, I would most certainly if the need arose. Thank you to Rex and the entire staff! You are truly excellent stewards of your profession!" - Amy Gilbert-Koch

  • "Rex Patterson is a great person and lawyer! I would recommend this law firm to anyone looking for a straightforward no-nonsense approach to legal matters! I am very thankful that while sitting in a law firm in Ft. Wayne explaining my situation I was advised to go to Rex!! Best decision ever! Thanks again Rex for your calm approach to crazy!!!;)" - Abby Richards

  • "Rex is a great attorney. The clients we mutually served shared how Rex was a good attorney and fair in his pricing. Would highly recommend Rex for any of your legal needs." - Ron Nicolet Owner of Nicolet Counseling LLC

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