Everyone has heard of a “nightmare” child custody battle. Most other civil cases boil down to money. In some high conflict custody cases, the battle is about custody, joint custody, or additional parenting time beyond what is set forth in the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines. This blog covers what courts consider in deciding physical custody and your options if you receive an unfavorable final order. As a threshold matter, a litigant must understand how the Divorce Act directs judges to analyze and decide child custody in the children’s best interest. Specifically, the judge hearing the evidence is to determine what is ...
November 13, 2020CD
When a couple divorces or establishes paternity, no party is a preferred parent. In other words, there is no presumption favoring either parent.1 Under the law, a father is just as likely to obtain physical custody as a mother—and fathers do obtain sole physical or primary custody in Indiana and throughout the United States. However, the parents and or children’s situations and circumstances change over time and a parent may seek to modify custody. This blog works through the basics of what you need to know about physical custody modification. To move to modify custody, a parent must be able to ...
November 5, 2020CD
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
Appeals from divorce cases, or post-decree custody matters, constitute a large number of cases taken to the Indiana Court of Appeals. By the time a divorce trial is over (or subsequent child custody modification case), many people are drained emotionally and have spent a lot of money to litigate a divorce or modification action. However, the losing party (or both parties) can appeal. For most people, the mere thought of having to retain new appellate counsel to address an appeal is an unpleasant thought at best. Since there is no requirement to file an appellee’s brief, the question we often ...
October 22, 2020CD
As we all know, life happens, and circumstances can change quickly. That custody order that was recently put in place may seem to become impractical in a moment’s notice. Maybe you or the other parent are intending on moving to a new state. Or maybe the other parent married someone that you believe is harmful to your child(ren)’s well-being. Whatever the reason may be, Indiana has established a specific statutory code to deal with modification of custody. This blog provides a brief overview of modification of a custody order and the process behind same. In order to modify a custody order, ...
October 16, 2020CD
Yes, although that may seem odd. Most of us have signed a contract pretty early in life, such as for a first apartment or car. However, the concept may seem disconnected to marriage and divorce (certainly parties will sign a mortgage or have a credit card that is governed by the terms of the contract, but this has nothing to do specifically with getting married or divorce). That said, contracts play an increasingly important role in getting married and divorced. This blog provides you with the basics of marriage1 and divorce2 contracts. In anticipation of marriage, the parties may enter into ...
October 15, 2020CD
In many cases, a neutral third party may be requested in contested custody cases to conduct a custody evaluation and make a recommendation to the court. The recommendation from the evaluator’s standpoint (after interviewing the children and parents, perhaps visiting the parent’s respective homes, and looking at documents, such as police reports) is a custody and parenting time arrangement that is in the children’s best interests. The problem this creates for one parent is that, normally, they will view the recommendation as a loss. This blog addresses ways to address a negative custody report (which is what the evaluator prepares ...
October 9, 2020CD
We quite frequently receive questions and complaints from clients regarding the other parent’s misconduct towards them or interference with their parenting time. These complaints tend to be followed with the question “can I modify physical custody?” Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule that can provide a ready answer to the question. Each custody case is unique, requiring an independent legal analysis. However, in this blog, we provide a quick overview of custody modification and when a parent’s misconduct or interference may rise to the level to modify custody. It is important to note that in Indiana, child custody modification ...
October 9, 2020CD
We receive questions all the time from clients and prospective clients regarding how the court will divide their inheritance in a divorce. Unfortunately, there is no quick and straightforward answer to that question. The division of property in Indiana depends greatly on the facts and circumstances of each case. However, there are some uniform concepts and rules that will help give you an idea of how the trial court will treat your inheritance during divorce. In this blog, we provide a brief overview of how property is divided in Indiana, and how you may be able to keep your inheritance ...
October 1, 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