Monday, September 14, 2009

Indiana Child Custody Law: What Custody Does Not Include

Kudos to All Things Family Law for his Custody and Parenting Time and a different perspective on the term "custody":

In Indiana we have two components to custody: (1) legal custody and (2) physical custody. Legal custody refers to decision-making authority for decisions related to the child's medical care, educational placement and religious upbringing. If you and the other parent can communicate effectively on these topics you could share legal custody. What if you reach an impasse on an issue? That issue can be resolved with attorneys, a mediator or with the help of a parenting coordinator (see previous blog entry).
Finally, let's discuss what the title of 'custody' does not control. It does not give one parent the right to decide what activities the child is involved in, whether the child should be allowed to go see the new Harry Potter movie, or whether the child should be allowed to stay up past 11 p.m. This are decisions each parent gets to make during the their respective parenting time (however, the issue of activities needs to involve communication between the parents, especially where future scheduling is needed or there is a fee for the activity that is shared). Put another way, just because you have 'custody' you do not get to micromanage all of the child's concerns.

When considering how to settle the issue of custody, don't focus on the title of 'custody,' but how to frame your settlement agreement or court order to cause you to have input into the decisions you want to share and the time you wish to have.
All good points, phrased quite well. I think reading the articles here on parenting time (just click on the label below for "parenting time") will show where parenting time is much more than visitation.  Maybe if we get enough people reading all the Indiana family law blogs, we can get the public to understand this.

Remember, if you want more information about retaining me for a case, please give me a call at 765-641-7906.

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