Indiana law typically allows both parents to have a relationship with their child after a divorce. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll obtain custody of your son or daughter. Fortunately, it is possible to pursue changes to a custody order after it is issued.
You can’t modify an order without a judge’s consent
It’s important to note that you can’t defy an existing child custody or visitation order. Instead, you must ask a judge to give you sole custody or eliminate the other parent’s visitation rights. This is generally true even if you suspect that your child might be in danger while in the other parent’s presence. You could be in contempt of court if you defy an order for any reason.
Has there been a change in circumstances?
Unless there is reason to believe that a child is in imminent danger, a custody order generally won’t be modified absent a significant change in circumstances. For instance, if the custodial parent wants to take your son or daughter to another state, it may be used as justification to review an existing order. If you lose your job, get evicted from your home or develop a substance abuse problem, your former partner may seek changes to a child custody arrangement.
Be sure to document everything
It’s in your best interest to document the phone calls, child support payments and other efforts that you have made to be there for your son or daughter. It is also a good idea to obtain written statements from doctors, teachers or others who are familiar with your fitness to be a parent.