When it comes to parenting time and custody agreements, parents will often assume that their preferences are what is most important. If someone is trying to get sole custody of their child and have all of this parenting time to themselves, they see this as an issue between themself and their ex. They think the court is deciding which parent should get their way.
However, under Indiana law, the court is actually supposed to consider the child’s best interests before what the parents would want. This is why the rule says that it is best, in most cases, for children to have time with each of their parents. Courts are not supposed to favor either side but are supposed to find a way to divide it between each of them.
Growth and development
The big reason for this, along with helping the child maintain a relationship with both parents, is that this arrangement has proven to be best for children’s growth and development. It can negatively impact them to lose contact with one parent. Since the court is focused on the child’s best interests over the parents’ desires, then it makes sense to split this time up between each of them.
Why would this not happen?
There are cases in which the court will rule that only one parent gets to have custody of the child. Generally, however, they need to see a relatively extreme reason to make this decision. An example of this could be if there is evidence that one of the parents has been abusive toward the child. This could also be done if it doesn’t appear that the child would be safe living with one of the parents.
But again, the focus is the same. The court is just looking out for the child’s best interests and does not want to put them in harm’s way. Absent something like this, it’s usually best for them to see both parents.
If you are involved in a custody dispute as you go through a divorce, it can certainly be stressful and complicated. Take the time to look into all the legal options at your disposal.