Child custody, or parenting time as Indiana law refers to it, is often the most contentious issue during a divorce, and the conflict can re-emerge after the divorce has been finalized. One reason is that many couples take an adversarial approach. Fighting to impose your terms is usually not an effective way to gain agreement, and can cause the conflict to drag on. At Shilts & Setlak, LLC, we help parents cooperate whenever possible to craft a mutually agreeable parenting plan. When parties reach consensus, they are more likely to follow the plan and avoid future conflicts. Led by a Board-certified Family Law Specialist, and staffed by experienced family law mediators, our firm is perfectly positioned to help you resolve your parenting time conflicts constructively, so you can co-parent effectively for the good of your children.
Parents in conflict over parenting time should try to reach a settlement before bringing the issue before a judge. Going to court is more expensive and involves the risk of an adverse decision. You have greater control when you develop a plan yourselves and present it to the judge for approval. There are several ways to reach a settlement, including:
Parents are permitted to draw up an agreement on their own, but you should present it to a lawyer for review before taking it to court. An experienced family law attorney can tell whether your proposal follows the state’s parenting time guidelines or if you might be adversely affected by the language in your agreement.
Unmarried parents have the same right to demand parenting time, as long as legal paternity has been established.
If you have a parenting time plan in place, but are having difficulty making it work, you need to work out a modification. Battling with an uncooperative ex is not productive and can lead to legal sanctions against you, including:
Never withhold child support as retribution for missed parenting time or neglect your responsibilities under the parenting time order. Our firm can initiate legal action if you are the victim of a violation.
In highly contentious cases, the court may appoint a parenting coordinator to help parents manage conflicts. This is useful for parents who have difficulty trusting or communicating with each other. An individual who serves as a parenting coordinator must be registered as an Indiana Domestic Relations Mediator.
Shilts & Setlak, LLC provides experienced counsel on parenting time in Fort Wayne and vicinity. Our office is located in Fort Wayne by the Parkview YMCA off Dupont Road. To schedule a consultation, call us at 260-999-5867 or contact us online.