Ask A Lawyer: My Kids Are In A Dangerous Home


My ex and I have rotating custody (1 week on and 1 week off). My ex has a stepdaughter now who has been arrested numerous time, for beating up my ex and bringing a weapon to school. She also has been arrested for other things and expelled from various schools.

I am concerned for my child’s safety as she has been witness to ALL of these incidents and is frightened. Can I get temporary custody of the child? What can I do? I am fearful for her safety.


In order to modify custody you must show a substantial change in circumstance.  If you can show that your stepdaughter poses a threat to your child, the court may modify custody. 

You must show she is a danger to your daughter and that her mother cannot protect her from the stepdaughter.  If your stepdaughter is removed from the home then the threat no longer exists.  At this point, the court would be less likely to modify the current custody arrangement.  


Clarissa Finnell is an Associate Attorney in the Indianapolis office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. She is a member of the Indianapolis Bar Association and has been licensed in Indiana since 1997.  Read more about Clarissa Finnell.

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