Will a judge grant 50/50 custody of an infant if both parents agree in mediation to a 50/50 schedule?

Asked about 1 year ago - Bedford, IN

I have a mediation date coming up in October. We both agree to 50/50 custody and are presenting a monday/tuesday (mom) wednesday/Thursday (dad) and alternative Friday-Sunday schedule in mediation with freedom to deviate among ourselves.

If both parties agree, what are the chances the judge sees the agreement as "not in the best interest" of the child and it defaults to IPTG. If that happens could we appeal it since we agree anyway? Also can we agree on no child support or would a judge have to grant that too?

I'm just concerned that even though we both agree, a judge may not and may consider it not in the best interest since he's only 8 months old.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Sonya Jane Seeder

    Contributor Level 9

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    Answered . It is likely that the judge will grant an agreed upon request. Judges tend to respect the agreed upon wishes of the parties so long as they are within the bounds of the law. If you and the other party are in agreement on all issues, mediation and a court date are not necessary. Let your attorney know you have an agreement. If you are unrepresented, you should seriously consider hiring an attorney who will draft an agreed entry for you to spare you from the cost of mediation and having to go to court.

    This is not legal advice. Legal advice can only be obtained from a lawyer after you have entered into an attorney... more
  2. Katherine Elizabeth Flood

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Ms. Seeder is right - if Mom and Dad both agree, the court will likely approve of your arrangement. The main reason I have seen custody agreements get thrown out by the court is for not being specific enough about the parenting time plan. So be specific, go into detail about how you're going to address holidays and birthdays and school breaks, etc. You can agree to default to the IPTG for holidays, etc. if you cannot come to an agreement about them. I also agree with Ms. Seeder's point that you should consider hiring an attorney to draft the agreement for you, just to make sure that you don't end up getting it denied for leaving something out. But if you are able to get an agreement together, you will not need to go to mediation or the hearing. By the way, kudos to you both for being able to cooperate and agree - that's rare, and it's always better for the child when mom and dad can communicate this way. If you ever need any help keeping the lines of communication open, and with coparenting down the line, consider going to the link below. It's an online course that you and the other parent can each take, which helps reinforce those skills and commitments that facilitate healthy coparenting. (And it's free!) Good luck going forward!

    Kate Flood
    Indianapolis divorce lawyer

    The foregoing is not intended to be specific legal advice, but rather general information. Because of the nature... more
  3. Jerome L. Ezell

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . Yes, the Judge must approve your proposed child support agreement.

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