Most parents, judges, and domestic attorneys view hearings and custody modifications or contempt filings as a last resort, not the first way to resolve a dispute. However, the conflict of divorce or post-divorce matters often obscures some of the legal and non-legal methods parents may resolve disputes about parenting time outside of court. The first and relatively newer type of tool is a parenting coordinator. There are different levels of authority a “PC” may have. These range from just trying to broker an agreement in real time as they arise to making (in more contentious cases) a binding decision until the ...
June 8, 2016Adam Hayes
Most marriages last at least a few years if divorce is in the cards. Most litigants see obtaining the divorce decree as about the final step in that hard process. However, to have the best chance of returning your life to the closest place it was pre-divorce, a great deal of work needs to occur post-divorce. First, make sure at the time of the divorce, key policies and protections don’t lapse like health insurance, auto insurance, and life insurance. Between changes of address and mail rerouting, this is easy and having an uncovered auto accident just makes healing from the divorce ...
May 31, 2016Adam Hayes
Over the course of several decades of collective domestic practice, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys observe two reoccurring mistakes that parents make, perhaps unknowingly, that may lead to contempt or modification actions or otherwise institute ill will and make it harder to co-parent and act in the children’s best interests. This blog post explores these mistakes so divorcing or divorced parents can avoid them. The first is enrolling the children in school and not listing the child’s other parent on registration forms. This takes a more sinister turn when the parent lists the new significant other as the emergency contact. This ...
April 27, 2016Adam Hayes
Divorce and child custody cases present common issues and unique ones to every family that comes to Court. To assist attorneys in making their client’s best case, Indiana judges sometimes gather and present seminars for practitioners to give them guidance in what helps best present every case. The Indianapolis Bar Association presented a seminar with Marion County and surrounding counties’ judges on March 23, 2016. This blogs covers 3 tips that came from this CLE that may help you understand what judges are looking for in divorce cases. These simple things will help in almost all cases a judge better understand ...
March 29, 2016Adam Hayes
There is an old adage that the line between “love” and “hate” is narrow. This line sometimes shifts during divorce proceedings. This blog explores some of the domestic issues this “line” highlights, requiring disclosure to your divorce attorney for him or her to do the best possible job of navigating your divorce. Frankly, we all have life moments we are not proud of that occurred, and sometimes share or experience those with a spouse in a close relationship. The expectation is that this is “unsaid” and will never be shared. Experience of attorneys and judges and professionals (such as psychologists) reflect ...
March 2, 2016Adam Hayes
The “old” and “traditional” ways of communicating between attorneys and clients had changed, although they still exist: meetings, telephone calls, and mailing letters. The new technology, emails and texts have changed that. Attorneys and clients have a variety of ways to interact and communicate. This varies from practice to practice. However, this blog focuses on more fundamental issues, which is when communicating with your counsel, what is the best way to do so. Some of this may be ironed out by familiarity with each other as the case progresses. There are three key ways that anecdotal evidence suggests communication happens, each having ...
February 18, 2016Adam Hayes
Indiana trial court judges are charged with the difficult task of making child custody decisions in the children’s best interests. This is daunting in contested divorce cases as the actual parents cannot agree to what is best for their own children. To assist them, judges on their own or with request of an attorney, appoint trained individuals ranging from trained attorneys to clinical psychologists to make custody and parenting recommendations. Sometimes the results are unexpected and unfavorable for a parent. This is not the end or the decision of the court. Courts are not bound by custody recommendations and may reject them. ...
February 3, 2016Adam Hayes
The Indiana Supreme Court has been proactive to protect the private information that litigants might place before a court. There is administrative rule 9 which is a compilation of directions from the Court and statutes and other rules on point about how to keep private information that should not be in the public record, private; while at the same time, balancing this against the right to public access to the court system. If you have what you believe is private, confidential or privileged information that arises in your case, this is a matter you should identify and discuss it with your ...
January 21, 2016Adam Hayes
Indiana’s few trial court judges, magistrates, commissioners and pro tems hear and decide a staggering number of cases (tens of thousands) each year with speed and accuracy. However, approximately 4,000 are appealed to the Court of Appeals as a matter of right. In consultation with their attorneys, litigants help to decide what issues to raise on appeal. Four common mistakes with litigants in selecting issues. Every “Mistake:” The first is trying to appeal every actual or perceived mistake made a trial. No trial is “perfect.” Ultimately, if the “mistake” will not make a difference in the decision it is generally a ...
December 8, 2015Adam Hayes
In Indiana, there are four key steps to take in appealing a decision of an Indiana judge or jury verdict. The first is to determine if there is a final order. In most civil trials, the appealable order is the final order disposing of all of the issues. In criminal cases, this is the date of the sentencing. The rules set forth by the Indiana Court of Appeals and Supreme Court are strict and require a certain action to be taken within thirty days of a final appealable order. Missing a date can preclude an appeal. The second step is to ...
November 18, 2015Adam Hayes