A Family Law Attorney Focused On Protecting And Advocating For Kids
In any family law matter, the well-being of children should be everyone’s top priority. When you hire my law firm Heather L. George Myers, Attorney at Law, your children will have an advocate in the legal process.
As a family law attorney who frequently works as a parent coordinator and court-appointed guardian ad litem, I have seen firsthand just how important it is for both parents (and attorneys) to work together to minimize conflict whenever possible.
Understanding Indiana’s Terminology
There are two types of child custody in Indiana: legal and physical. Legal custody refers to which parent makes decisions on behalf of the child, while physical custody refers to which parent the child will live with. Each type of custody can also be “sole” or “joint,” meaning that one parent (sole) or both (joint) will have custody benefits.
The most important part of a child custody arrangement is the parenting plan. This plan — which is filed with the court if the parties are in agreement or ordered by the court if the parties cannot agree — dictates when the child will be with each parent, who will make decisions on the child’s behalf and how disputes regarding the child will be resolved in the future. Mediation often plays an important role in child custody determinations, and the best interests of the child are paramount in the eyes of the court.
A Negotiated Agreement Is Usually In Everyone’s Bests Interests
Unless there are serious questions about the fitness of one parent, courts typically believe that maintaining meaningful time with both parents is in a child’s best interests. If you and your former partner are able to negotiate fairly and productively, it is both possible and preferable to create a parenting plan together. If the terms of the proposed plan are fair, a judge will likely approve them.
Creating a parenting plan with your former partner also gives you far more control over the process and the outcome than you would have if the decisions were left up to a judge. Therefore, it is best for everyone to reach a negotiated solution. I am uniquely equipped to help you create a detailed and thorough parenting plan that can:
- Eliminate confusion and ambiguity regarding placement
- Reduce potential conflicts between parents
- Minimize disruptions in your children’s lives or schooling
- Effectively split up holidays, school breaks, and other important times of year
- Include mechanisms for how disputes should be settled when they arise
It is important to remember that custody decisions need to be sustainable, often for years at a time. Therefore, they should be as detailed and forward-thinking as possible. That being said, it is possible to modify child custody orders that no longer meet the needs of the children.
Talk To Me About Your Legal Needs And Goals
My firm is located in Greenwood, Indiana, and serves clients on the south side of the Indianapolis metro area. To get your questions answered during an initial consultation, please send me an email or call 317-643-5496 today.