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How to request a child custody change in Indiana

When circumstances change in the years after a divorce, the original child custody plan may no longer fit your family’s needs. Either parent can request a custody change, and the court will consider this request and make a ruling. 

Learn more about the process of seeking a new Indiana parenting agreement. 

Best interests standard 

The parent requesting a custody change must prove that this change is in the child’s best interests and that one or more of these factors has significantly changed since the original agreement was reached: 

  • The wishes of one or both parents concerning child custody 
  • Evidence of family violence or neglect 
  • Child’s age 
  • Child’s ability to adjust to the custodial home, community and school 
  • Child’s wishes about his or her living situation 
  • Mental or physical health of the child or either parent 

If parents agree on the change, they must still request a change to the legal agreement. 

Gathering required evidence 

Indiana has a high standard of proof for child custody changes; the reasoning is that frequent household changes do not support a child’s adjustment and well-being. Therefore, you must have significant evidence of the best interests standard to successfully argue for a change in physical custody. Examples of evidence you can present in court include: 

  • Financial information, including pay stubs, health insurance information and other costs associated with raising the child 
  • Timeline of the changes that have resulted in the custody change request 
  • Reports and evaluations from the original custody decision 
  • Existing custody orders 
  • Police reports 
  • Medical records 
  • School records 
  • Personal witness testimony, either in person or written 
  • Correspondence with doctors, teachers, therapists and others who play a role in your child’s life 
  • Photographs, emails, text messages and video and audio recordings 
  • Journals that detail circumstances leading to the requested change 

To get started, you must submit a request to modify custody from the court that issued the original custody order.