Working Out The Realities Of Co-Parenting
When it comes to care and custody of children, it can be hard to be objective or maintain a spirit of cooperation. It’s natural to be fiercely protective of your kids and to have strong feelings about what is best for them.
Yet the reality is you very likely will have to share parenting responsibilities and decisions. From nearly 20 years as a divorce and family law attorney, I have a good sense of what works. Let’s figure out a co-parenting plan that is fair and healthy for all involved.
Indiana Child Custody And Parenting Plans
Indiana has moved away from the old model of custody and “visitation.” The courts presume that both parents will be involved in raising the child. The default is joint legal custody, which means both parents have a say in major decisions about the child’s schooling, health care, religious upbringing and general welfare.
One parent may be granted primary physical custody, referring to where the child lives most of the time. But the other parent will have regular and substantial parenting time. This could be a 50-50 arrangement or whatever schedule is best suited to the parents’ schedules and the child’s needs. When parents cannot agree, the court would normally apply the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines.
My Role As Your Custody Lawyer
Co-parenting — I can help hash out the specifics of the parenting plan, such as the number of overnights, pick-up and drop-off schedules, how to handle holidays and summer vacation, communication, parenting ground rules and other considerations. A good plan is detailed enough to prevent disputes but flexible enough to accommodate the realities of daily life.
Fighting for custody — If the other parent is trying to shut you out of your child’s life, I will fiercely assert your parental rights in contested custody proceedings. I have also represented unmarried fathers in paternity actions to establish parenting time.
Child support — There may be reasons to depart upward or downward from the Indiana Child Support Guidelines. I make sure that the court has the information to calculate appropriate support. I can also help if the other parent is not paying court-ordered support or if new circumstances warrant a modification of child support.
The Solutions You Need
I am attorney Joe Walterman. If you need a problem-solver and negotiator to work out parenting arrangements, you can count me to guide the way. Call me today at 317-953-2281 or email me to start the discussion about your custody concerns. My law practice, Walterman Legal, serves central Indiana from Indianapolis to Bloomington.