When Can I Change My Custody Agreement in Indiana?

You can try to change your child support agreement if someone other than the custodial parent has been caring for your child.

While a custody agreement is legally enforceable, it is by no means set in stone. Circumstances can change for Indiana families, and if these factors change, it may be in the child’s best interest to have a child custody agreement amended. But when can you actually do that as a parent? How is a Custody Agreement amended and what is the best way to proceed in this situation?

These are all valid questions that are probably best answered by a lawyer. Not only can an Indiana child custody attorney explain when and how child custody agreements can be amended, but they can also help you move forward and seek a positive legal outcome. With the help of one of these legal experts, you can change your custody agreement and give your child a better life.

What is a “change of circumstances”?

You can only change your custody agreement in Indiana if circumstances within the family have changed significantly. There are very strict guidelines as to what constitutes a “change of circumstances”. As with all decisions related to custody, only the best interests of the child are considered. This means that your own personal preferences and changing parenting priorities do not represent a change in circumstances. Instead, only major changes in a child’s life are considered. These include:

Four teenagers sitting on a bench in front of a body of water; Image by Sammie Vasquez, via Unsplash.com.

  • The child has grown much older since the divorce
  • The child is not enjoying their current school, community or home environment and needs a “fresh slate”
  • The child’s mental health begins to suffer
  • The mental health of the custodial parent begins to suffer
  • The custodial parent is negligent
  • The custodial parent is abusive or violent towards the child

In addition, you can try to change your child support agreement if someone other than the custodial parent has been caring for your child. This third party is referred to as the de facto custodian. If your child has been in the care of this third party for at least six months, you can have your custody agreement amended so that you become the primary legal guardian.

It is important to note that you must demonstrate that a specific change in circumstances has occurred before the court will change your agreement. Sometimes this is difficult to prove, and it is often a case of “he said she said”. This is why it is so important to enlist the help of a qualified child custody attorney.

Get the help of a qualified attorney today

If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced child custody attorney in the Indianapolis area, there are many legal experts waiting to help you. Work with a dedicated attorney and you will have the best possible chance of changing your custody agreement. These lawyers understand how important your child’s life is and they will help you fight for your rights as a parent. Book your consultation today.

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