The keys to making your best case for obtaining what you want in a divorce trial by focusing on the obvious and basics—but what is rarely ever consciously considered by the parties before or at trial.
December 19, 2017CD
In Indiana, there are thousands of DCS’ investigations each year. Many result in filing a petition to open a CHINS’ action against the parents. In the initial investigation from the DCS to and through the hearing, if a CHINS petition is filed, parents have the constitutional right to counsel. The question this blog post focuses on is, “Should parents have private counsel?” The answer is “probably.” There are four key reasons parents should seriously consider counsel. First, a CHINS’ proceeding involves complex orders and services the parents must follow. The purpose of these services is typically reunification with a parent or ...
December 19, 2017CD
In today’s digital world with global work and play, people from different cultures, backgrounds, and ages marry. In many cases, there are significant differences in net worth, age, and business ownership. For this reason, some couples choose to enter into pre-marital agreements under Indiana’s Uniform Pre-Marital Act. A prenuptial is a document or series of documents, that specifies what a divorce court is to do in divorcing the parties in a divorce filing when separating their assets and liabilities. This blog addresses legal issues you should understand if you contemplate entering into a pre-marital agreement. The first and most important concept to ...
December 8, 2017CD
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
Every year there is a surge in divorce filings from January to March. Why? Most couples, specifically those with children, are reluctant to break up during the closely-spaced holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years; particularly, with the office parties and other events that are almost holiday rituals, like Black Friday shopping. After all, there is a whole year to get divorced before a reset of these holidays and hopefully start the next year with a clean slate as a single person. This blog explores seven key considerations in preparing for a “Happy-New-Year” divorce filing. The children: Perhaps the most important ...
November 15, 2017CD
The holidays are quickly approaching--and it not only means more than decorations and school pageants. For divorced or unmarried parents, it also means inevitable changes to parenting time schedules that can make the holidays less joyful if not addressed ahead of time. Under any parenting time plan, the holidays can be difficult to coordinate, but below are a few pointers to know to help make your holidays happier. 1. Know which guidelines your family is under. The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines (IPTGs)1 are often used as a parenting time or holiday time guide. Be sure to review your Decree or Order to ...
November 8, 2017CD
For children (who may be subject to divorce custody order) removed from another country, there are two (2) bodies of law that may apply to obtain their return. The first is the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspect of Child Abduction. Typically, these are countries with Western-type values and legal systems. Where two countries have signed and ratified the treaty, this body of law aids parents in obtaining a return order to return the child(ren)1 to their country of habitual residence. This blog post focuses on divorce and custody order issues by non-Hague countries if the children are brought to the ...
November 1, 2017CD
As part of a divorce, custody, guardianship or other family law matter, children’s medical records are often sought to address any number of issues. Perhaps the child’s caregiver needs certain medical records for a child to be enrolled in school or an activity/sport. A parent may need the children’s medical records to determine whether child support should continue past the age of nineteen (19) if there is a severe medical issue where the child is incapacitated and there is a divorce action pending.1 Nevertheless, an individual’s medical records, including those of children, are protected under state and federal law, specifically HIPAA.2 ...
October 10, 2017CD
Throughout the last several years, the concept of parenting coordination has been catching on in Indiana. Effectively, Parenting Coordinators (known as “PCs” in high conflict matters) help parties resolve disputes in real time so children do not miss events or time with the other parent. The only other viable option before parenting coordination was a contempt petition or other legal filing in court, which was heard after the fact. As of January 1, 2017, the Indiana Supreme Court officially recognized Parenting Coordination; it approved rules regarding appointment and terms of service. These build on the knowledge and benefits that Parenting Coordinators ...
September 22, 2017CD
In many divorce and paternity cases, a continuum is presented where the parent-child relationship may be strained to non-existent. Parents want to see their children. Children want to spend time with their parents. This is a basic bond of parent-child relationships and why parents have a fundamental right to rear and make decisions for their children—one of the oldest and most protected rights under the United States Constitution. For these and many other reasons, supervised visitation (by a third party) of a parent with his or her children is a remedy that is not meant to be a long-term way for ...
June 7, 2017CD