In many cases, parents want an immediate court date to modify custody due to what they believe is an “emergency” matter. This may range from denying parenting time on a significant holiday and the children not being able to attend an important family event to a new relationship one parent develops with a person who the other parent believes is a bad influence on the children and/or puts them in harm’s way. Clearly, Indiana Courts have the authority to conduct emergency custody modification hearings (and do) to look out for a child’s best interests. However, in most cases, these types ...
August 21, 2020CD
Although not a frequent topic of discussion, the Midwest of the United States supplies a significant amount of the world’s grain. There is also a significant amount of livestock raised in the Midwest. The farm divorce (crops or livestock) is no stranger to Indiana’s domestic attorneys and judges. When the farm divorce happens, it triggers unique considerations for the farmer and his or her spouse. This blog covers what you need to know about a farm divorce. In Indiana, we follow the one-pot theory of division of the marital assets. This means that everything acquired before marriage brought into the marriage ...
August 20, 2020CD
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
There are numus ways to have your child’s voice heard in court to aid a judge with making a custody determination or a modification decision. In most cases, an attorney or licensed clinical social worker can interview the family and children in order to make a sound recommendation to the court about what he/she believes is in the children’s best interests. This is because they are neutral to either side. However, in a small minority of cases involving high-conflict custody proceedings, the facts are convoluted and may reflect deeper underlying substance abuse issues masking mental health conditions. In these cases, ...
August 6, 2020CD
For most couples, they marry, maybe buy a house, get a pet, and have children. As they do these things together, they slowly intermix financials, friends, pets, and how they apportion the work and rearing of the children. Almost no one thinks when they marry, they will divorce. For this reason, divorce is a complex, legal transaction that often leaves one spouse unprepared financially or emotionally. When a marriage is breaking down, a wise spouse prepares in advance to minimize being left without access to their children, a car to drive to work, and money to access to live upon. ...
August 3, 2020CD
In today’s mobile society, it is common for parties to have a second home in another state or country. Many people who are divorcing think this is outside the Indiana divorce court’s jurisdiction because it is not within the state. That is not the case, although it does create several problems for litigants and their attorneys. All marital property brought into the marriage, acquired during the marriage to the date of filing, is marital property for the trial court to divide.1 This blog covers the basics of how homes and other real property located in other places are addressed in ...
July 30, 2020CD
Divorces can be complex matters, often times involving extensive discovery.1 One key to obtain information in divorces is by depositions. Depositions are unique in that they require you to actively participate with the attorneys. Depositions require a large amount of involvement on the part of the client, it is important to have a basic understanding of depositions and what to expect. In this blog, we provide five tips for a deposition in your divorce case. Tell the Truth. While it may seem like a cliché, the first tip for a divorce litigant going into a deposition is to tell the truth. To ...
July 29, 2020CD
The short answer is, it depends. Generally speaking, a court may only grant a petition to adopt a child if written consent to adoption is executed by the child’s parents. However, like most everything in life, exceptions apply. But when do these exceptions apply? What are the circumstances when a parent’s consent is not required? In this blog, we provide a brief overview of when a parent’s consent to adoption is required and when consent may be waived. Adoptions in Indiana are governed by statutory law. Thus, when going trying to determine whether consent is required, it is necessary to review ...
July 28, 2020CD
In many instances, individuals getting divorced will enter into settlement agreements to divide what is deemed “marital property.” Settlement agreements are contractual in nature. Therefore, when individuals enter into settlement agreements dividing marital property, the settlement agreements become binding on the parties. The trial court only retains jurisdiction to interpret the terms of the property settlement agreement and to enforce them. But what happens if the settlement agreement was improper or was based on something like fraud? Is there ever any instance in which a court can modify an agreement? The Court of Appeals recently addressed such questions in their ...
July 23, 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