Unfortunately, situations arise in our society where a child’s biological parent(s) may no longer be the best person to raise the child. If such a situation is present, there are different avenues a third-party can utilize in order to seek custody of a child in lieu of the biological parent. One of the ways in which a third-party can seek custody of a child is being declared the child’s “de facto custodian.” But you may be wondering “what is a de facto custodian?” or “how can I become a de facto custodian?” In this blog, we try to answer these ...
October 29, 2020CD
There are several studies and statistical data compilations indicating a growing number of children in the United States are being raised by third parties. These third parties range from grandparents to relatives or sometimes just a friend of a custodial parent. This person may become a “de facto custodian” and seek physical custody. To do so, he or she must establish evidence they have had the infant or toddler and been their primary caregiver and means of financial support for at least six (6) months in cases where the child is less than three years of age.1 This blog addresses ...
September 28, 2020CD
For many of us, Grandparents played an important role in our lives. Now more than ever, grandparents seem to be actively involved in the raising of their grandchild(ren). In many instances, a grandparent may be raising their grandchild all together. If you have found yourself in such a situation, or you know someone who is, you may be wondering, “can I get custody of my grandchild?” This blog provides a brief overview for grandparents who are exploring options for obtaining custody of a grandchild they are raising. A few things to point out before discussing the different options. First, Indiana makes ...
November 8, 2019CD
You do not have to be a lawyer to recognize that today’s children are being raised in large numbers by third-parties, ranging from grandparents to relatives to friends and total strangers. Knowing how important stability is to a child’s sense of well-being, many third-parties mistakenly believe that they can just file in court and obtain “custody” since they are raising someone else’s children. However, the United States Supreme Court has determined that natural (and adoptive) parents have one of the oldest and most protected rights—a fundamental right—to raise their children. Thus, a third-party has a legal barrier to overcome in ...
August 27, 2019CD
Yes, in some cases. Nationally as well as in Indiana, grandparents are increasingly raising their adult children’s children. Sometimes this is just being great and helpful grandparents. In some cases, such as a parent going back to school or distant work relocation, parents must do so to better their lives, but in others, they do so for legally impermissible reasons, such as addiction issues; these parents simply leave their children with grandparents to raise. For all practical purposes, the grandparents take over the role of caregiver and provide all the support, shelter, and care and nurture of the grandchildren. In ...
January 8, 2019CD
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
In many homes across America today, a grandparent (or third party) is the one raising a child or children of the biological parents. This may be for many reasons; typically, it is due to the instability of a parent, physical or mental health issues, drug use, incarceration of a parent or a pure lack of the ability and/or desire of a biological parent, well, to parent. This blog addresses what happens when a grandparent (or third party) becomes a bonded caregiver for such children and what steps they can take to keep “custody” in the child’s best interests. Over time, a ...
February 19, 2018CD
Raising Someone Else’s Children A word that has almost vanished from common conversations is the term “nuclear” family. This conjured up the notion of a mother, father, two children (a boy and a girl), family dog, and the proverbial white fence. Now children are routinely shared between same-sex parents, divorced parents or have a single parent. However, there are tens of thousands of children being raised by neighbors, other family members, or a trusted friend of parents. Sometimes the children are abandoned, not supported or contacted by the parent or parents again. This creates problems with school enrollment to medical care. The ...
December 1, 2017CD
"Do I need an Attorney if I'm am contacted by CPS about my child in Indiana?" Each year Indiana Child Protective Services receives and investigates thousands of calls about suspected child abuse or neglect from a host of individuals ranging from doctors to teachers to counselors. Their job is to investigate and, if necessary, file a request for a Child in Need of Services case to be prosecuted. Many parents wonder when and if they should have their own attorney. This is the topic of this blog post. In short, the answer is “yes” there is the right to counsel, and parents ...
January 4, 2017Adam Hayes
All issues involving child custody and child support have significant social, political, economic and psychological dynamics operating within the legal system and controlling laws. Two key policies that support the law is to maintain the child with a style of living as if the parents were married and meet the child’s best interests. In the very broad area, this blog post explores three trends that are slowly changing domestic law across the country: joint custody, child support ending at age 18, and third parties obtaining custody. At present, the parent who is not awarded physical custody is given parenting time (overnights) ...
July 7, 2016Adam Hayes