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Child custody definitions in Indiana

On Behalf of | Jan 21, 2020 | Family Law |

Your life changed in the blink of an eye. The future in front of you is one with an ex-spouse, with your children divided between the two of you. 

It may be a long road, but there is an end in sight, one that keeps your children in your life and lets you continue to raise them with your ex. How, exactly, does that work, though? What can you expect from the child custody arrangement? 


Like most states, Indiana focuses on the child’s best interests. The state would like for the child to maintain a close relationship with both parents and for the parents to take care of the child’s mental, physical and emotional development. With this in mind, the parents or the court, in some cases, must decide certain arrangements. These plans may include the following:

1. Physical custody

Physical custody means the place where the child physically resides. Physical custody involves the day-to-day care of the child, such as meals and bathing.

2. Legal custody

Legal custody involves the right of a parent to make decisions in the child’s life. This may refer to choices about the child’s religion, schooling, counseling and medical needs.

3. Joint custody

Joint custody means both parents have a responsibility to decide on the physical and legal aspects of the child. The parents must work together to maintain the custody agreement.

4. Sole custody

Sole custody refers to one parent having the exclusive right to both physical and legal custody. This parent will make the decisions regarding where the child lives and alone makes important choices regarding the child’s welfare. 

Indiana addresses the child’s needs by putting rules, known as The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines, into place. The guidelines involve scheduling time, exchanging information and resolving problems. Also, there are procedures for deciding on parenting times for children of different ages, from infants and toddlers to teenagers.