Some time back someone used the query "how to petition for custody indiana" to find themselves to this blog.
Assuming that the person was seeking to modify a previous Order on custody, then IC 31-17-2-3 controls. That statute reads as follows:
Commencement of proceeding
Sec. 3. A child custody proceeding is commenced in the court by:
(1) a parent by filing a petition under IC 31-15-2-4, IC 31-15-3-4, or IC 31-16-2-3; or
(2) a person other than a parent by filing a petition seeking a determination of custody of the child.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.9.IC 31-17-2-3
Which probably will leave two questions: 1) what court and 2) what is a petition?
The court will be the court that controls the case - where the person got the divorce or determined paternity.
A petition is a piece of paper. Everything in a court starts with a piece of paper. Nothing in the Indiana Code prescribes the content of a custody petition but you can find a sample version here.
After preparing the petition, it must be filed with the court with a summons so that it can be delivered to the other parent. After that comes setting a hearing and proving the case.
At some point, it may be a bit clearer what a lawyer brings to the table when trying to file a custody petition. I do not think that anyone should try this without a lawyer. If you find it all too much but are still worried about attorney fees, give my Announcing a New Service: Unbundling Legal Services a read,