Many fathers feel like their fate is already decided before they step foot into court. Years ago when men wanted primary or even equal custody of their children they would get shot down once they got before a judge. While this used to be true, American culture is changing. Mothers are making up a growing share of the workforce while dads are taking a growing share of parenting time.
Fathers' rights laws in Indiana support a dad's right to:
- Make important decisions about their children
- Equal time or primary custody
- Regular visitation and overnight time
Fathers stand a chance at custody in Indiana
Fathers should understand and exercise their rights to see their children. Many men assume that they will lose their kids all together if they go to court so they take whatever is given to them. While judge bias will still exist against men in court, it is very much possible to get custody of your children. Remaining judge bias is a good reason why it is so important to have an attorney experienced in fathers' rights at your side.
In order to gain custody or equal shared time with your children you will need to prove that it is in the best interest of your child. This is a general term used by courts around the country meaning that living with you would be the best option for your child. Everyone is taken on a case-by-case basis and there is no standard rule that means you will or will not get custody.
Custody is granted based on a variety of factors
Every judge has the ability to grant custody based on a number of factors. The judge will consider the following in court:
- Who is the primary caretaker
- Who has a strong bond with the child
- If the child has a relationship with any siblings
- Which parent can provide safety and consistency in a home, school and family life
- Which parent the child prefers to live with
Once a child turns 11 the court will typically allow for them to choose which parent they prefer to live with full time. Even if you are not granted primary custody, Indiana family courts highly favor visitation and equal parenting time. While court bias might still stand, men are protected by Indiana state law. With a good attorney at your side you have a great chance to get the time you seek with your children.