Nissa M. Ricafort answers:
A parent who adopted her spouse’s child during the marriage can obtain primary or sole custody of the child during the divorce, as there is no presumption under Indiana law regarding which parent should receive custody of a child. Rather, Indiana law requires courts to make custody decisions based on the best interests of a child.
The court will consider various factors, including the child’s relationship with both parents, which parent has served as the child’s primary caregiver, he child’s adjustment to her home, school and community, the physical and mental health of the child and the parents, and the ability of each parent to care for and provide for the child. If the adoptive parent has a close and loving relationship with the child, has served as the child’s primary caregiver, is physically and mentally healthy and can demonstrate that she is better able to care for the child than the other parent, it is possible that the judge would grant the request of the adoptive parent go have primary or sole custody of the child.
Nissa M. Ricafort is one of the three founding partners of Broyles Kight & Ricafort, P.C. As an experienced Indianapolis family law attorney, Nissa has assisted families through difficult transitions, including high-conflict custody proceedings, international custody disputes, complicated marital estate divisions, child support disputes, and paternity matters. View their firm’s Divorce Magazine online profile.