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Who Can Get Non-Parental Custody in Indiana?

Nov 07 2018, by Sean Hessler in Family Law, Legal Blog

If neither of a child’s biological parents are capable of caring for them, third-party or non-parental custody may be awarded. Although Indiana believes that ideally a child should remain with their biological parents, there are certain circumstances in which non-parental custody may make sense. Below, we’ve outlined the basics of non-parental custody in Indiana.

If you are hoping to gain non-parental custody of a child in Indiana, contact our experienced Indiana custody lawyers at Hessler Law, PC. Call 317-886-8800 today or use our online contact form to learn about your legal options.

How Non-Parental Custody in Indiana Works

As stated, Indiana prefers for a child’s biological parents to care for them. However, this is not always possible. If you are a grandparent, sibling, stepparent, or another third party who wishes to receive non-parental custody of a child, you must prove that their biological parents are unfit to care for them. You are also required to demonstrate that it would not be in the child’s best interests to live with them. The court may award non-parental custody if one or a number of these circumstances are present:

  • Both parents are living but neither parent is unfit to care for the child.
  • The custodial parent has passed away and the surviving parent is unwilling or unfit to take custody of the child.
  • The child has been living with a non-parent for a long period of time.
  • Both parents have relinquished their rights to the child.

Non-parental custody will only be granted if it is in the best interests of the child. The court will not award it for the sole reason that a non-parent can provide a better life for the child. If you hope to gain custody of a child, you must show that there is a substantial difference between what the child’s biological parents can provide and what you can offer. If the child’s parents have been convicted of crimes, this may be obvious. However, in many cases, this is not clear and requires strong evidence to prove.

It is important to understand that once non-parental custody is granted, the biological parents are entitled to parenting time. Also, non-parental custody comes to an end when a minor turns 18 years old unless they are pronounced an incapacitated adult.

Why Hire Our Indiana Custody Lawyers

Cases that involve non-parental custody are often complicated and emotional. If you are a grandparent, sibling, stepparent, or another party who hopes to earn non-parental custody of a child, it’s essential to work with a highly skilled Indiana custody lawyer. After understanding your situation and reasons for wanting to obtain non-parental custody, they can inform you of whether you have a valid case.

In the event you do have a chance of being awarded non-parental custody, a lawyer can assist you in constructing the strongest case possible. They can work with you to collect evidence to prove that granting non-parental custody to you is in the best interests of the child. You can count on them to support you in explaining why the child’s biological parents are unfit to care for the child.

With legal representation by your side, you can gain a better understanding of non-parental custody laws in Indiana and increase your chances of securing a favorable case outcome. Non-parental custody is not easy to win, making it well worth it to work with a custody lawyer.

Contact Hessler Law, PC

If you are a grandparent, sibling, stepparent, or another individual who hopes to receive non-parental custody of a child, contact our firm today. Call attorney Sean Hessler. at 317-886-8800 or use our online contact form to find out whether you may have a valid case for wanting non-parental custody.