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When can you modify custody in Indiana?

In Indiana, if you want to request a change in custody after a divorce, you must show that there has been a substantial and continuing change in circumstances that justifies modifying the existing custody order. The court’s primary concern is the best interests of the child or children involved. Here are some situations where you might consider seeking a change in custody:

  1. Significant change in a parent’s behavior or circumstances: If one parent’s behavior or living situation has changed in a way that is detrimental to the child’s well-being, such as substance abuse issues, criminal activity, or domestic violence, this could be a reason to seek a custody modification.
  2. Relocation: If one parent is planning to move a significant distance away, it can affect the existing custody arrangement. Indiana law requires that a relocating parent provide notice to the other parent and obtain court approval in some cases.
  3. Child’s wishes: If the child is old enough and mature enough to express a preference for a change in custody, the court may consider their wishes, but this is just one factor among many in determining the best interests of the child.
  4. Parental alienation: If one parent is deliberately trying to turn the child against the other parent (parental alienation), this can be a reason to seek a custody modification.
  5. Failure to adhere to the existing custody order: If one parent consistently fails to follow the terms of the existing custody order, this could be grounds for a modification.
  6. Safety concerns: If you believe your child’s safety is at risk due to the current custody arrangement, you should consult with an attorney to explore your options.

It’s important to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Indiana to discuss your specific situation and assess whether you have a legitimate case for seeking a change in custody. Custody modifications are typically not granted lightly, so you’ll need to provide evidence of the substantial and continuing change in circumstances that justifies the change. Treptow Law can guide you through the legal process and help you present your case effectively in court.