Child Custody & Support
Making Sure Children Come First
One of the most important aspects of family law is to provide for the care and support of children when they are not living with both parents due to divorce, separation, or childbirth outside of marriage or cohabitation.
Whether you are going through a divorce or have another concern about child custody and support, you shouldn't hesitate to talk to a lawyer when you need clarification about your rights and the rights of your child.
I am Lawrence C. Arany, a certified Indiana family law specialist, and I regularly help clients with child custody and support issues, including modification of existing arrangements. To go over your circumstances with an experienced family law attorney, contact me at my offices in Indianapolis.
Pursuing Custody Arrangements in the Child's Interests
These days, child custody rulings do not usually grant one parent sole custody, unless the other parent has been abusive or is unsuitable for some other reason. Instead, parental responsibilities are divided according to which parent has "primary physical custody" and how much parenting time is afforded to the other parent.
- Joint legal custody is the norm, which means both parents continue to share decisions about how the child is brought up, including his or her education, health care and religious training.
- Parenting time is the term for when each parent has physical access to the child. Usually, one parent is given primary physical custody, and the other gets a share of parenting time.
The child custody process is always focused on the best interests of the child. Because it is generally not in the child's interests for the parents to settle their differences in court, the judicial system encourages negotiated and mediated settlements, and the court may appoint custody evaluators to inform the judge or commissioner's decision.
Calculating a Fair Child Support Payment
Child support in Indiana is based on a formula that takes into account the financial resources of both parents; the number of overnight stays the child will have with each parent; and specific expenses for the child such as child care, health care and special needs.
While the process of calculating child support seems relatively straightforward, it is important to gain an accurate understanding of all the relevant factors. Child Support Guidelines, along with extensive Commentary, have been published by the Indiana Supreme Court to guide judges, attorneys and parties in arriving at a fair child support figure. This protects both you and your child. An experienced family law attorney can help you pursue a fair child support outcome.
To discuss any questions or concerns you may have about child custody or support in Indiana, contact me today.