Child Custody Lawyer

Serving South Bend, Elkhart, Mishawaka, Osceola & The Counties of St. Joseph, Elkhart, Marshall & LaPorte

Child Custody Advocates in South Bend Indiana

When choosing a lawyer to handle your child custody case, there is a lot to consider. Child custody cases can be emotionally & mentally draining cases to handle. After all, not only must you consider what is best for you, but, most importantly, you must consider what is best for your child.

Due to the high stakes & emotional fatigue involved, you will want to put your case in the hands of a child custody lawyer who understands the complexities of the legal system and will work with your best interests.

The Cole Law Firm LLC has over 15 years of experience in child custody law. We approach each case with a breadth and depth of knowledge that allows clients to understand all their options before making any major decisions. If you are preparing to go through a divorce or separation with children, if you are dealing with a custody-related dispute, or if you need help with any other issue related to child custody in Indiana, then contact the Cole Law Firm LLC today at (574) 288-7820.

Experienced Child Custody Attorneys

At the Cole Law Firm LLC, we represent parents, grandparents, and other family members in all child custody matters. Whether you are seeking custody of your child or requesting modifications to an existing custody order.  We have extensive experience helping clients overcome challenging situations.

Child Custody Matters Involving:

  • Parental Relocation
  • Parenting Time
  • Child Custody Modifications
  • Grandparent Visitation
  • 3rd Party Custody Arrangements

Regardless of the situation you are facing and your relationship with the children involved, it is imperative to make informed decisions to secure a favorable outcome.  At the Cole Law Firm LLC, we will make sure that you understand the laws that govern child custody cases in Indiana.

How The Courts Determine Child Custody Cases in Indiana

Indiana law requires all parties involved to focus their efforts on protecting the best interests of the child or children involved. This is the standard the courts apply in contested custody matters. As a result, it is also the standard that parents, grandparents, and other family members must apply when developing parenting plans and addressing other custody-related issues out of court.  The Indiana courts focus on 7 factors when determining what is in the child’s best interests:

  1. Age & Sex of Child
  2. The wishes of Child’s Parents
  3. Parent's Mental & Physical Health
  4. The wishes of the child
  5. Child’s relationship with parents, siblings & other family members
  6. Home, school & community support
  7. Any evidence of domestic violence

NOTE: There is no presumption favoring either parent per Indiana law.

Joint Custody vs. Sole Custody

For divorcing and separating parents, one of the first steps in resolving custody involves choosing between joint and sole custody. Indiana law recognizes physical & legal custody. Physical custody refers to the right to live with and provide a primary home environment for a child. Legal custody refers to the right to make important decisions on a child’s behalf. In divorce and separation cases, it is possible for parents to share or separately have rights to physical custody, legal custody, or both.

Indiana courts take the position that it is in a child’s best interests for both parents to play an active role in his or her life. As a result, joint physical and legal custody arrangements and arrangements involving clearly delineated parenting time are most common. The courts will award sole custody in appropriate circumstances.

Reasons for Sole Custody:

  • Child Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Domestic Violence
  • Legal Trouble
  • Alcohol or Substance Abuse

An award of joint custody will more likely be assumed to be in the child’s best interests if none of reasons for sole custody is met above. When structuring joint physical custody, parents have options including; alternating weeks, splitting weeks & making other arrangements that work with their schedules.

The Cole Law Firm LLC has successfully secured custody of hundreds of clients throughout St. Joseph and Elkhart County.  We strongly believe in the rights of both parents and will do everything we can to make sure you are granted a fair custody arrangement.

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