Over the last two decades, social and psychological science research, and an ever-changing view of what constitutes a “family” and who and how work is done by parents, has shifted the view of custody. Not that long ago, women were de facto awarded custody on divorce and father’s obtained “visitation.” Now the importance of frequent contact with both parents has been validated, and the non-custodial parent is awarded “parenting time.” This reinforces the concept of shared parenting. This blog post explores some of the more common parenting orders of custody reached by agreement or after a trial. The first is joint time ...
May 24, 2016Adam Hayes
A common goal good family law attorneys seek to reach with any divorce or end of other parent-child relationship, as well as the judges who manage these cases, is to prepare their clients to avoid future hot-button issues. Where divorced couples have children, a new step-brother or sister or half-sibling can cause instability in subtle ways that may lead the parents back to court and undo the healing that comes with the closure from divorce. This blog post highlights three of the most common such dynamics. The first is where the new parental unit on one or both sides of the ...
May 3, 2016Adam Hayes
Over the course of several decades of collective domestic practice, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys observe two reoccurring mistakes that parents make, perhaps unknowingly, that may lead to contempt or modification actions or otherwise institute ill will and make it harder to co-parent and act in the children’s best interests. This blog post explores these mistakes so divorcing or divorced parents can avoid them. The first is enrolling the children in school and not listing the child’s other parent on registration forms. This takes a more sinister turn when the parent lists the new significant other as the emergency contact. This ...
April 27, 2016Adam Hayes
Every judge in every county and attorneys observe certain cases where the parents cannot agree on anything and are constantly in court post-divorce as it relates to children. The miracle of courts is it allows a dispute to be resolved when every other institution and solution fails. But it exacts a price on the parents, judges and lawyer—and ultimately the children. Litigation rarely is in the children’s best interests if there is another solution. Some serious and prolonged litigation is rooted in miscommunication and perceptions of parents that can be avoided or minimized at that time or in the future by ...
March 30, 2016Adam Hayes
The Divorce Act and cases that control Indiana divorce law are driven by policies that favor the parties reaching agreements. Particularly where children are involved, agreements avoid the “warfare” that sometimes ensues with contested custody cases. However, all such agreements must be in the children’s best interests. Ultimately, Indiana’s trial court judges stand in loco parentis (act as a parental figure) and review agreements to ensure all such agreements between the parties over their children are, in fact, in their best interests. In most cases, this is the case. Recent Indiana decisions have re-confirmed there are two matters parents cannot agree to. ...
March 22, 2016Adam Hayes
The Holiday Season is a time of joy and stress for everyone. This is particularly the case for parents who have children from divorce or paternity with child exchanges. Holiday time is magical for children and there is a finite amount of this holiday time. Both parents want their time. However, the legal system cannot get back this time by a subsequent legal proceeding, so try to avoid unnecessary conflict. Sometimes there is no ability to resolve any and all issues and a court action for contempt or modification is merely reflected and magnified by holiday parenting disputes. However, if the ...
December 15, 2015Adam Hayes
In every disputed custody case, the difficult decision facing the judge is who should have custody of the children and what parenting time the non-custodial parent should receive. The trend between litigants is seeking something close to equal time with the children. Whatever your objective, there are simple tips you can used to help your case for custody. First, don’t be the parent who makes an issue out of everyday and normal deviations in parenting time a “war.” Under best interest standard, a judge considers who will do the most to facilitate the other parent’s time and help him or her ...
December 1, 2015Adam Hayes
Every parent involved in parenting time and custody exchanges with their child(ren) and the other parent have had tense moments or disputes leading up to the exchange. Some parents feel pressure so great you can “cut it with a pair of scissors.” As each parent’s life has changed after divorce or paternity proceedings, logistics and time itself may make any deviation burdensome on the parents and breed hostility. Nevertheless, in ordinary exchanges or those that follow disputes, there a three tried and true ways to avoid acrimony—which psychologist tell us is always sensed by the child, eroding his or sense of ...
March 19, 2015CD
In litigation without a jury, and domestic law specifically, trials can go on for hours, even days. Sometimes, several days of hearings are heard over the course of multiple weeks. In some cases, several days of hearings can be set over the course of several weeks or even months. Even if a trial is only one day or for an hour or two, a party can request special findings in the matter. Special Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Judgment and are governed by Trial Rule 52 in Indiana1. Special Findings essentially summarize the case, laying the background of the ...
September 11, 2014CD
In many divorce and paternity cases it often happens that one parent is provided primary physical custody of the child or children, and the other parent receives parenting time. Physical custody refers to where the child primarily lives. There is another type of custody, legal custody, that could be either joint in both parents or sole in one parent. This means, the parents can share joint legal custody and one parent could have primary physical custody, but it also means that one parent could be provided with both sole legal custody and primary physical custody. Legal custody refers to the ...
July 22, 2014CD