Is It Possible to Get Child Custody Modification in Indiana?

Emily J. Schmale

Author: Emily J. Schmale

POST DATE: 4.15.24
Ccha  Family Law

When the needs of your family or child evolve, you may find that the existing arrangements for parenting time and custody, as established by a court order, no longer meet your child’s needs. In such cases, it's possible to request a modification of child custody from an Indiana court.

Keep in mind that modification is not guaranteed, but we can help you through the process and evaluate strategies for a positive change. Our firm, Church Church Hittle and Antrim, has been in practice since 1880, and our award-winning attorneys have the ability to tackle any custody issue you might be facing.

When Can I Request an Indiana Child Custody Modification?

You can ask for a child custody modification in Indiana if there has been a substantial change relating to your child’s best interests, and such a change would be in your child’s best interests.

Determining What Is in Your Child’s Best Interests

The best interests factors that the court uses to make decisions about custody include:

  • The wishes of your child (especially if they are 14 or older);

  • Your child’s adjustment to their community, home, and school;

  • The physical and mental health of everyone involved;

  • Whether family or domestic violence has been committed by either parent;

  • Your wishes;

  • The sex and age of your child;

  • Whether a de facto custodian has cared for your child;

  • The other parent’s wishes; and

  • Your child’s interaction and relationships with you, the other parent, the child’s siblings, and significant people in the child’s life.

You need quality evidence to establish for the family court to adopt a change to your custody order in light of any of the above factors. Our knowledgeable attorneys at CCHA Law can gather the best evidence to assist in your case and protect your child’s well-being.

Son and dad together

Gathering Evidence for Modification of Child Custody in Indiana

There are many ways to prove to the court that your custody order should be changed. Evidence you can submit when requesting a modification might include:

  • Medical records for your child, you, the other parent, or anyone else involved;

  • Testimony from you, your child, and the other parent;

  • School records;

  • Photographs;

  • Police reports or police testimony;

  • Testimony from healthcare, education, or childcare professionals; and

  • Testimony from anyone else involved in your case.

You may be able to gather some of this evidence quickly and on your own. However, some evidence (especially regarding others’ records or the testimony of a reluctant witness) might require a subpoena or a court order. We know the legal tactics necessary to obtain any evidence that may be difficult to access.

How to File for a Modification of Custody in Indiana

To change the custody orders in your case, you need to execute a Verified Petition for Modification of Child Custody. Once your petition is complete, you must file it with the court that entered your original custody order and serve a copy of the petition to the other parent or their attorney.

If the other parent agrees with you regarding custody changes, you must also file an Agreed Entry to Modify Custody that is signed by you and the other parent. But if you and the other parent cannot agree, you will likely have to attend a hearing where you present evidence regarding your position.

Wooden family play set and gavel

What If the Other Parent Is Abusive?

When the safety and well-being of your child are at stake due to the abusive behavior of the other parent, the law provides mechanisms to protect the vulnerable. In Indiana, if you have concerns about your child's safety due to the other parent's abusive actions, you can petition for the court to implement supervised parenting time or even restrict the other parent's access to the child. Supervised parenting time means that the other parent can only spend time with the child under the supervision of an approved third party or at a designated visitation facility. This arrangement is typically put in place to ensure the child's physical and emotional safety while maintaining the parent-child relationship. There is a very high bar to establish the need for supervised parenting time.

Orders concerning supervised parenting time typically remain in effect for a specified period, during which the court may require the abusive parent to complete other requirements or other counseling as a condition for considering unsupervised visitation in the future.

Protecting Your Family Is Our Priority

At CCHA Law, we are experienced, award-winning, and caring family attorneys in Indiana. We have been taking care of clients and families for over 140 years. Whether your family law issue is simple or complex, we can answer your call for a strong advocate. On our family law legal team, we have attorneys who boast advanced credentials such as a Certificate in Family Law and a certification as a family law specialist by the Family Law Certification Board. To schedule a consultation, please give us a call or contact us online.