A recent House Bill to unanimously pass the Indiana House of Representatives addresses issues of guardianship and custody and the inclusion of information from the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) and Children in Need of Services (CHINS) in the guardianship and custody proceedings. House Bill 1041provides that if a person files a petition to establish or modify a guardianship, visitation, or child custody, that person shall submit a verified petition whether the person has been determined to be a perpetrator of abuse or neglect (substantiated by DCS); whether the child has been a victim of substantiated abuse or neglect; whether ...
March 7, 2013CD
Divorce, paternity, or other domestic litigation is a stressful process, and can often lead to anger, bitterness, and miscommunication between parents. However, as we embark on a new year, take a moment to read these five (5) tips for ringing in the New Year more harmonious parenting time. 1. Be understanding of scheduling issues Especially around the holidays, everyone’s schedule becomes more hectic and sometimes unpredictable. Family is in from out of town and children have school events. When one of these scheduling issues arises, try to accommodate the other parent and let them have that time. This is not to say that ...
January 1, 2013CD
A Chance Encounter with a Divorced Parent Putting the Child First! An observation of family law attorneys and the trial court judges--who have to make difficult to impossible decisions between litigants over children and too are caught in the proverbial middle–is the extraordinary conflict that arises over holiday parenting time, particularly Christmas. Most all parents of Christian faith have special events and traditions at Christmas that they want (or demand) be followed during the Christmas holiday. Unfortunately, many of the Christmas events overlap and the timing simply cannot be worked out. So for the month of December, attorneys and Indiana’s dedicated trial ...
December 27, 2012CD
During pending or after completed domestic litigation (i.e. divorce, paternity, custody matters), communication between parents/parties is often extraordinarily challenging for most well- intentioned parents. Many times, a breakdown in communication was a central cause of the underlying problem relationship to begin with, increasing with the stressors of litigation. Although complex and often frustrating in that parties successful communication often means the parents have to agree to disagree, parties must learn how to effectively communicate regarding the children. Without this, fighting between parents over parenting with the children makes for life-long scars on the children and, depending upon the children’s ages, may ...
August 9, 2012CD
The dynamics of what constitutes a “family” have been rapidly changing over the past several decades. What used to be considered family with a mother, father, and two children is no longer the norm, in many cases. Often, families now include step-parents, grandparents, half siblings, etc. This changing make-up of the family unit has led to more complex custody and visitation cases. As advocates at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C., we often see extended family members or sometimes even unrelated parties who have cared for a child, physically and financially, for a lengthy period of time have the child suddenly taken back ...
May 8, 2012CD
Change is a Constant The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines (“IPTGs” or “Guidelines”) offer a baseline for parents in this midst of a divorce or paternity action a guide for parenting time (previously called visitation). The IPTGs continue application after the initial action and custody order. Parenting time issues, disputes, and misunderstanding are common problems Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. advocates encounter. With revised IPTGs on the table, we provide this blog to help readers to perhaps anticipate the future and eliminate misunderstandings and some disputes. Because the IPTGs impact parent-child time, they examine holidays, children’s basic needs, parenting conflicts, and more to get to ...
April 26, 2012CD
The Power of a Trial Court To Hold Stepparents in Contempt for Interfering with Custody and Parenting Time As domestic advocates, we sometimes receive questions about the rights of stepparents who may be perceived as, or actually are, interfering with the other parent’s custody and parenting time. This situation creates a serious (additional) emotional dynamic within post-divorce and paternity cases. In other words, the allegation and legal issue concerns a person who is not a party subject to the trial court’s orders but who effectively thwarts these (custody and parenting time) orders to the benefit of his or her spouse and to ...
February 21, 2012CD
As domestic advocates, we observe a common source of confusion--and antagonism--between parents as to when they should give (or are required to) the other parent the opportunity for additional parenting time. The controlling Indiana Parenting Time Guideline (“IPTG”), states “[w]hen it becomes necessary that a child be cared for by a person other than a parent or a family member, the parent needing the child care shall first offer the other parent the opportunity for additional parenting time.”i This provision is commonly referred to as the “First Right of Refusal.” However, the IPTGs do not define the term “family member.” In a general ...
January 17, 2012CD
In Part I of this blog post, we sorted out some of the dimensions of legal custody. In Part II, the topic shifts to the corollary, physical custody. In the not-to-distant past, at a time where father’s rights to time with the child had not grown to the level of recognition (although under the gender neutral, best interests standard) they are today, the custodial parent (more often mothers) had primary physical custody and a father received “visitation.” Today, that is not the case, and Indiana’s trial courts are frequently hearing arguments advanced for joint physical custody, although the law is not ...
January 5, 2012CD
In our role as advocates, advisors, and as counsel, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys observe litigants in high-conflict, child custody litigation in some of their most trying times. And every seasoned family law judge, attorney, or child psychologist can relay a horror story where this pressure takes litigants beyond the bounds of civility, respect and basic human decency. The key point and takeaway is that neither party wins, such acrimony really harms the child, and saddles all with baggage they carry throughout life. Indiana trial courts and appellate judges have had to address a few unfortunate cases where the myopic desire ...
December 22, 2011CD