Many fathers, both those who have divorced their spouse and those who never marry the mother of their children, make the mistake of believing that child custody terms are final and permanent. In reality, family situations change quickly, and the courts are flexible because they understand that fact. When your situation changes, the appropriate allocation of parental responsibilities and rights may also change.
That is why it is possible for fathers in Indiana to request a modification of the child custody terms outlined in previous custody proceedings. If you currently do not share equal custody with your ex or have sufficient parenting time, a child custody modification can help you improve the terms of your custody arrangement and insure more time with your kids.
People seek modifications for all kinds of reasons
The courts will consider many different personal reasons for seeking a modification of child custody. Maybe you used to have to travel for work, and now you will remain in Indiana most of the time. Perhaps you previously struggled with financial instability or addiction, but have developed better habits and life patterns.
It is even possible that the shock of a divorce left you willing to agree to anything at the time. Now that you have had a chance to process your divorce, you may find that you don't feel that the terms of child custody are fair to you or to the kids. After all, healthy, ongoing relationships with both parents are critical to the well-being and healthy development of minor children.
Regardless of your specific situation, it is possible to request a modification. The courts typically favor shared parental rights and responsibilities, so it may be possible to secure an adjustment of up to 50/50 shared custody, depending on the circumstances.
Have evidence of how your life or situation has changed
In order to improve your chances of a successful child custody modification request, you want to back up your request with real world evidence. Pay stubs that show that you have obtained a better job, rental agreements or mortgages that show a stable living situation, or documentation from completing substance abuse counseling could all help you develop a case for a child custody modification.
The various factors the courts consider in the original agreement will inform you as to what documentation and evidence will best bolster your modification request. If you want to spend more time with your children, you have every right to ask the courts to grant you additional parenting time.
Working with an Indiana attorney can help you develop a strategy that will improve your chances of success in modifying your custody terms. If you're serious about spending more time with your kids, getting professional help is often a wise first step.