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
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
Parents constantly worry about their children. The problem is magnified when the threat of harm to the children comes from your ex (or biological parent) as like you, they too have a fundamental right to raise their children. However, courts treat abuse—particularly physical abuse very seriously— as they are charged with always looking out for the children’s best interests. This blog covers legal tools you may engage to obtain “protection” for you children to key evidence you may need to make your case. Depending on if your divorce case is filed (or paternity has been established), you have different remedies. Perhaps ...
September 24, 2019CD
The family dynamic is something that is always changing, and there is certainly no “standard” or “normal” family. After a divorce or a final determination in a paternity case, often one parent of a child has what is called primary physical custody, and the other parent (the “non-custodial parent”) has what is called parenting time. The terms of the non-custodial parent’s parenting time may take many different shapes, but in general, if the parents cannot agree, courts often look to the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines to make a determination on parenting time. The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines prescribe several different ...
May 23, 2019CD
Custody disputes between a minor child’s parents, grandparents, relatives, and/or others in a minor child’s life can arise in a variety of different cases – marriage dissolutions (divorces), paternity cases, and guardianships are just a few. Other times, one of the parties involved in a child’s life may petition for a modification of custody under certain circumstances. The type of evidence that you may be required to present may be different depending on the type of case you are litigating and the current custody status of the minor child who is the subject of the custody dispute. However, this blog ...
February 14, 2019CD
Indiana trial court judges and attorneys encourage the parties to reach agreements in divorce and paternity cases. There is even a specific statute in the Divorce Act expressly encouraging custody agreements.1 However, Indiana trial court judges have a legal duty to watch over children of the marriage and ensure their best interests are met. For this reason, there are a few types of agreements the parties cannot settle for or even request the trial court to order in a contested trial. This blog addresses these four types of child-related terms the parties cannot agree to and why that is the ...
September 13, 2018CD
In paternity (children born out of wedlock) and divorce cases, the initial determination is gender neutral and made without any preference for either parent; the court decides physical custody considering any relevant factor to what is in the child’s best interests. For parents who present a strong factual and legal case and do not prevail, many consider appealing the decision to the Indiana Court of Appeals. This blog analyzes the general considerations for whether to appeal a losing custody decision or move to modify it in the future. That said, unlike most all other judgments in civil litigation, including property division ...
August 2, 2018CD
Perhaps everyone who reads this blog will agree that routine and “sameness” are considered aspects of our daily life. The old adage, “change is hard”, best captures this concept. The same is true for children of divorce and paternity cases. The initial determination of which parent should have custody is “gender neutral” and gives no parent a preference for preliminary custody in the trial court’s initial determination. However, after the case is decided, where custody may change, the children usually establish a custodial routine on who they stay with and when. Any changes or disruptions to the schedule are significant for the ...
July 11, 2018CD
Jobs and relationships (significant others) are in a constant state of change in today’s digital world. However, in cases where two parents share custody or one has primary custody and the other parenting time from a divorce1 or paternity order, a relocation of any significant distance can create a potentially significant issue for parenting by the non-relocating parent. Where the custodial parent is the relocating parent, if challenged by the remaining parent, the relocating parent must prove the relocation is made in good faith and for a legitimate reason. This blog presupposes a relocating parent can meet this burden; and ...
June 27, 2018CD
Today, millions of children are being raised by grandparents, friends, neighbors, and sometimes, total strangers. This trend is growing each year. In this situation, these individuals acting as “parents” have no legal rights to the children they are raising, despite the fact they are providing for all aspects of their physical and emotional well-being. Practically speaking, this reality can create a multitude of problems for the caretakers, from enrolling the children in school to obtaining health care. All the while, the children are bonding with this caregiver like a biological parent. However, sometimes a parent just shows up years later ...
June 18, 2018CD