Grandparents play an important role in many of our lives. Fortunately, the Indiana Legislature has recognized this importance and passed what is known as the Grandparent Visitation Act. The Grandparent Visitation Act gives grandparents the right to seek visitation, albeit, in limited and defined circumstances. Whether or not you can seek visitation of your grandchildren will depend on the specific facts of the case. In this blog, we provide a brief overview of the Grandparent Visitation Act and the circumstances that may give you the right to seek visitation. One important thing to point out is that historically speaking, grandparents had ...
December 30, 2019CD
The family dynamic is something that is always changing, and there is certainly no “standard” or “normal” family. Many may picture a mom, a dad, and a couple of children when thinking of what was called a “nuclear family.” However, the truth is, families, often, do not resemble a nuclear family. Families may consist of same-sex couples, single parents, step-parents, half-siblings, adopted children, aunts, uncles, third-party custodians, or a myriad of other possibilities. On this note, it has become increasingly common for grandparents to play an active role in raising a child while the child’s parents are at work or ...
March 28, 2019CD
Grandparents are an important part of many of their grandkids’ lives. Grandparents tend to help watch us growing up and provide many of us with invaluable life lessons they taught their own children. In many respects in today’s busy world, grandparents often times almost act as second parents. The Indiana Legislature, for this very reason, passed statutes providing grandparents with the legal right to go to court to seek visitation1. However, the situations are limited in which grandparents are entitled to seek visitation, but, due to their impactful nature on a child, grandparents are given certain legal remedies in court; ...
February 18, 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
Daily news stories and life experiences demonstrate to us all that third parties, such as neighbors, friends, and grandparents are helping more and more to raise children. Sometimes disputes like divorce causes such third parties to be removed from a care-giving role that they want to continue and perhaps the children need for security and stability. This blog post explores this topic. Third parties always have one big legal hurdle to overcome, although many have done so in Indiana and other states. This is a parent’s fundamental right to raise his or her children with a minimal of state interference. The ...
October 15, 2015Adam Hayes
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
Without a court order a grandparent does not have a right to visitation with their grandchild. In other words, unless allowed by a parent, a grandparent cannot demand certain visitation with a grandchild. There are, however, specific circumstances under which a grandparent has the right to seek visitation. A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision ruled that just any third-party may not petition for visitation because it unconstitutionally infringes upon the rights of parents1. The Court specifically stated that “fit parents” are presumed to act in their children’s best interests and the state should not “inject itself into the private realm of ...
September 19, 2013CD
Extended family, such as grandparents, can play a big role in a child’s life when his or her parents are getting divorced. The love and support of family is important, especially when a child is dealing with the life changes that come when his or her parents separate. Often, one parent will move back in with his or her parents (the grandparents) while a divorce is pending, until the financial matters are settled and they can obtain more permanent housing. When a parent moves back home, inherently, that is where that parent will exercise his or her parenting time, and ...
August 22, 2013CD