Ever since the United States Supreme Court determined that state bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional,1 the legal landscape has seen numerous changes regarding same-sex individual’s legal rights in divorces and ancillary matters flowing out of the divorce, such as division of property. One of the biggest changes that has occurred is the legal rights an individual has to a child born during the marriage. So, you may be wondering, what are my rights to my child born during my same-sex marriage? In this blog, we try to answer that question, as well as provide general information on an individual’s rights ...
September 17, 2020CD
Parental alienation is just what it claims to be.1 It is a parent (usually the custodial parent if the parties are divorced or the child is born out of wedlock) who engages in a systematic campaign to denigrate the other parent and make the child(ren) of the parties afraid of the other parent. Unfortunately, with children of a young age, they may be more than just conditioned to be afraid of the alienated parent, but they may come to have false memories of some bad act or event caused by the alienated parent. How this plays into a contested custody ...
September 4, 2020CD
In many cases, parents want an immediate court date to modify custody due to what they believe is an “emergency” matter. This may range from denying parenting time on a significant holiday and the children not being able to attend an important family event to a new relationship one parent develops with a person who the other parent believes is a bad influence on the children and/or puts them in harm’s way. Clearly, Indiana Courts have the authority to conduct emergency custody modification hearings (and do) to look out for a child’s best interests. However, in most cases, these types ...
August 21, 2020CD
For many reasons, parents of children of divorce or paternity become estranged from their child. Psychological research shows that children are the most developed and have the best adult lives when they have a solid relationship with both parents. It may be a significant out-of-state move and/or re-marriage that has caused the split or, in some cases, it may be your child has been alienated by his or her other parent. This blog covers the major types of alienation and legal remedies you may utilize to re-establish the relationship. In perhaps the most common scenario, a parent has simply drifted away ...
August 14, 2020CD
There are numus ways to have your child’s voice heard in court to aid a judge with making a custody determination or a modification decision. In most cases, an attorney or licensed clinical social worker can interview the family and children in order to make a sound recommendation to the court about what he/she believes is in the children’s best interests. This is because they are neutral to either side. However, in a small minority of cases involving high-conflict custody proceedings, the facts are convoluted and may reflect deeper underlying substance abuse issues masking mental health conditions. In these cases, ...
August 6, 2020CD
In all child custody litigation—the original determination by a court or in passing on a modification petition—the trial court always looks at what is in the child’s best interests. In making its initial determination to award physical custody, there is no preference for either parent. With a modification, a substantial change in circumstances must be established and be in the child’s best interests. In this blog, we cover how courts consider the wishes of a child fourteen (14) years of age or older. With regard to age, a child’s advanced age is important to two (2) significant types of litigation: custody ...
July 22, 2020CD
Child custody proceedings tend to be confusing and emotional times. Whether it be an initial custody proceeding or a modification of a pre-existing custody order, the process always seems to be draining on all involved parties. However, you can relieve some of the emotional burden by understanding the basic workings of child custody in Indiana. In this blog, we provide four things to know about child custody in Indiana. Physical and Legal. The first thing to know about child custody in Indiana is that it is divided into two distinct categories. First, there is physical custody. Physical custody simply means the ...
July 16, 2020CD
Child custody litigation is a gut-wrenching experience for all parents. Both want the same amount of time they had before the divorce or post-divorce they may be seeking a modification to gain additional time, but there is only a finite amount of time for custody and parenting time. That said when a parent loses a custody battle their first thought often is to appeal. Sometimes this is possible and sometimes it is not. Further, there are a number of different reasons to appeal. When and why you should appeal a loss in custody litigation is the focus of this blog ...
July 7, 2020CD
There is general agreement among the bench and bar that parents should not call their children as witnesses in their divorce of post-decree modification cases. Putting any child on the stand is a traumatic experience and one that usually makes them pick sides. On the other hand, while there are a lot of ways a child’s views can be made known to a court, such as a custody evaluation, sometimes with older children or in very unique circumstances, a party wants a judge to hear the child directly address the Court. This can be done outside the litigants’ presence. This ...
July 2, 2020CD
Like everyone and everything in life, the judicial system isn’t perfect. As such, sometimes trial courts get it wrong. If you or someone you know just received a child custody determination that you believe was wrongly decided, you have the ability to seek relief via an appeal. How is this done? How long does it take? In this blog, we look at the general process for appealing a custody order in Indiana. The first thing to consider in the appeal process is the timing of initiating the appeal. Generally speaking, once you receive a final custody order, whether it be an ...
June 17, 2020CD