When it comes to matters of child custody, the wishes of the child – particularly that of a child over the age of 14 – are some of the main statutory factors the court will consider when modifications are requested.
This is not to say that Indiana child custody modifications are solely based upon a child’s wishes. In fact, courts have traditionally been hesitant to do so. However, they are an “important consideration,” per a recent decision of Andrick v. Andrick by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
Here, a father sought modification of a child custody agreement involving his teenage son, who was living with his ex-wife, her new fiance, and her fiance’s two children. Although the lower court denied the modification, the court of appeals remanded the case. While Father had requested reversal of the trial court’s ruling, the appellate court was “not prepared to go that far.” It noted there was evidence in the case that could arguably support a result in favor of the mother, but there were erroneous findings by the lower court on crucial issues. There were also repeated citation by the trial court of incorrect legal standards, and thus the appeals court lacked confidence in the accuracy of the lower court’s judgment. Continue reading