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When is shared parenting applicable in Indiana?

On Behalf of | Aug 25, 2023 | Family Law

A parenting plan is necessary to ensure the divorcing couple’s child maintains meaningful connections with their parents. This plan could contain various conditions to fit the family’s unique needs while prioritizing the child’s best interests. The state provides guidelines for different arrangements, including shared parenting.

Shared parenting allows parents to maintain separate homes and stay involved in the child’s daily activities. This arrangement provides less separation between the child and each parent. However, this type of setup could only work if each party is open to cooperating and collaborating for the child’s sake. The court could assess the family’s relationships and dynamics to determine if this parenting type is appropriate.

The judge could consider different factors based on the child and the parents before allowing the plan’s implementation, including the following:

Child-based factors

These considerations typically include the child’s needs based on their characteristics, such as:

  • Age
  • Adaptability to changes and stress
  • Developmental needs
  • Physical, emotional and educational requirements
  • Amount of care received from both parents before the separation
  • Activities within the community outside of the child’s family

Other elements of the child’s life can be a consideration, depending on how the separation and divorce can impact them.

Parent-based factors

The parents can also have qualities that might affect a shared parenting setup, such as:

  • Willingness to comply with the plan and accomplish child care responsibilities
  • Interest in caring for the child
  • Efforts to stay involved in the child’s life
  • The parent’s relationship with the child
  • Ability to accommodate the child’s needs at home
  • Capacity to resolve household conflicts peacefully

The court could include other factors involving the household if they significantly affect the child. They could also assess each parent’s capacity to maintain a healthy co-parenting relationship, which is crucial to making shared parenting work.

Finalizing the appropriate setup

Parenting plans usually undergo lengthy discussions before finalization because their features should consider the family’s unique needs and qualities. It could have terms based on these factors. However, the court could still have a say based on assessments providing insight into what is most appropriate.

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