Family law, like every other profession, has its own language; a language that can be misunderstood, or may stand for many things depending on the context in which it is used. This blog covers the five key definitions that are used correctly, incorrectly, or a combination of both, in child custody proceedings. The better you understand these terms, the more informed litigant you will be. The first term is an umbrella term generally referred to as “child custody.” Child custody refers ...
As with all cases brought against an individual or family (civil or criminal), the State has the burden of proof. With respect to neglected children (“CHINS”) or children who commit acts that would be crimes (“Juvenile Delinquents”) if an adult, the Indiana Department of Child Services (“DCS”) acts for the State. In a recent case, a divided Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a Child in Need of Services (“CHINS”) determination against a father. This case has three key holdings or points for ...
Over time, the nature and complexities of divorce have changed. In the 60s and 70s, for instance, before uniform acts were adopted by the states on custody jurisdiction, a parent wanting to obtain child custody simply went on “vacation” with the children to another state, filed divorce, and had custody decided in a more favorable place to their legal objectives. Laws, lawyers, judges, and legislatures have done a great deal to level the playing field for litigants. However, there are certain “no-nos” even today ...
Over the course of your lifetime, you may be tempted to or drive with alcohol in your system. What many people don’t know, or don’t fully understand, is that you do not have to be over the legal limit to be arrested and charged with Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated (“OWI”). Generally speaking, it is enough that you have alcohol in your system that impairs you. Due to the commonality of OWI charges and convictions, it is important to know and understand what will happen ...
What Parents Should Know About Their Child If They Are Picked Up And “Charged” As A Juvenile Delinquent
April 14, 2017 / Juvenile Delinquency
What You Know May Hurt You and Impact the Rest of Your Child’s Life Juvenile delinquency means that a child, but for his young age, is alleged to have committed a delinquent act which would be a crime if he or she is an adult. The parents’ decisions for the child at the beginning of such a matter may literally define the course of the child’s life. This blog post explores some of the inherent traps ...
Let’s face it. There are some parents that just cannot agree on certain issues related to their child, such as extracurricular activities or (legal) discipline of the child. As a result, Indiana has started utilizing a newer method to address co-parenting in these situations. This blog post focuses on parallel parenting, a concept targeted toward parents experiencing consistent conflict due to their inability to agree to virtually anything, sometimes reflective of different life views that led to divorce and, others, the on-going “wounds” from the breakup of the marriage. Parallel ...
A topic or term known to perhaps every divorced (or unwed) father in the United States is “fathers’ rights”. Gather a group of fathers together and perhaps there would be no agreement on the precise definition and how this term would, could, or should play out in the divorce or paternity. However, they would agree, on the whole, they believe they are getting “screwed” by the system. Such term, in fact, conjures up discussions ranging from the child support formula (unreasonable amounts it computes for non-custodial fathers) and denial ...
April 11, 2017 / Contempt
Having a contempt petition (sometimes called a rule to show cause) filed against one in a civil or criminal case is generally unsettling. What is the purpose? Generally, civil and criminal contempt is the legal process by which trial courts enforce their orders and/or maintain decorum in the courtroom. A key and relatively recent Indiana case, Stanke,1 has refined civil contempt and it, along with the array of contempt types and proceedings, is addressed in this blog post. The ...
The benefit of a high net worth divorce is there is generally money to divide to allow the divorcing spouses to live a comfortable lifestyle after divorce; however, this type of divorce litigation often presents with the form of complex financial, tax, and legal questions. If so, these are necessary to be answered with relative precision before and at trial so the parties can best litigate their legal positions and the trial court has sufficient evidence to divide the marital estate in just and reasonable manner.1 This ...
April 7, 2017 / Business Valuation
In order to assess the value of a marital business or professional practice for proper consideration by a trial court in a trial, a business valuation is almost always called necessary; there are very advanced tools to assist in determining the value of a business that is utilized by business valuators. Knowing the best litigant is one who is informed, this blog covers three central parts of a business valuation; these individual components may have value outside the business itself, for either party: Market Value. The market ...