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

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.

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

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 client relationship. If you would like to discuss your case please contact me at (317) 456-7942. www.indyfamilyattorney.com.

Asker

Posted

Reading the positive comments left me hopeful then reading the one where it won't be granted made it worse again. I'm scared that even tho we agree what's best that a judge will grant something else instead and we won't get what we agree on. We are willing to do whatever it takes to get shared 50/50 custody in mediaton. Can we fight a judges ruling if we don't agree with it? We just want it to happen more than anything.

Posted

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 of this online, non-confidential forum, and because each and every family law case is different, it is impossible for any attorney to consider all of the facts of your specific case and provide a concrete answer. If you require specific legal advice, you should retain a qualified attorney in your area.

Posted

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

Katherine Elizabeth Flood

Katherine Elizabeth Flood

Posted

I respectfully disagree with my colleague. The judge has the authority to refuse to approve your agreement if she finds that it is not in the child's best interest, or that it doesn't contain enough specificity, or if there is some other issue or problem with the agreement. Agreements like this do get rejected, but it's usually more a problem of form rather than the actual substance of the agreement. Also, child support can make it tricky. If you deviate from what the Indiana Child Support Guidelines recommend, you have to provide a good reason, or the judge will deny your agreement.

Asker

Posted

We will agree on any child support. We just want the joint 50/50 custody to pass and will pay any amount by whomever needed.

Katherine Elizabeth Flood

Katherine Elizabeth Flood

Posted

If that's the case, then as I said, the judge will more than likely approve it as long as there is enough specificity about the parenting time plan.

Asker

Posted

In mediation when we show them the 50/50 agreement will they bring up child support or should we put in the agreement that we agree to any child support the judge sees fit to go with it? Sorry for all of the questions. But I feel I need as much information as I can get.

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