In the past several years there has been significant discussion throughout the United States about the legalization of marijuana. In 1996, California was the first state to legalize the use of medical marijuana, since 20 more states have followed suit, including: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington DC, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington State1. In a bold move, last year, Colorado became the first state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana2. However, notably, Indiana is absent from the list. Also, bear in mind, possession and use ...
December 19, 2013CD
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
The divorce process inherently encompasses many issues, including child support, child custody, parenting time, and property division. Many of our past blog posts have discussed these topics generally, and in great detail. One particular thing that can muddy the waters of a divorce matter is when the parties together, or even just one, owns and runs a small business. It may seem obvious if Husband and Wife are co-owners of a family business, and both contribute to the growth and sustainability of that business, that the business is part and parcel of a divorce action. The parties, or a judge, will ...
September 17, 2013CD
There are two general types of adoptions of a minor child. The new family adoption, and the step-parent adoption. First, the new family adoption, which terminates both the Mother and Father’s parental rights, and the new family (new mother and father) acquire the same parental rights as the biological parents once had.1 The second type of adoption is commonly known as “step-parent” adoption. A step-parent adoption only divests one parent of his or her parental rights in lieu of the step-parent acquiring parental rights. For example, biological mother and step-father wish for step-father to adopt mother’s child; the biological father’s rights terminate, ...
June 25, 2013CD
In domestic cases, there may be a number of experts that are called upon to testify during a hearing. For example, a doctor may testify about a child’s medical condition, a CPA may testify about the value of a business, or a clinical psychologist may testify about a custody evaluation performed. However, there are limitations to who is an expert and what witnesses can testify about. For example, under Indiana law, a licensed clinical social worker is prohibited from providing expert testimony1. Specifically, the Indiana statute allows that social workers can provide factual testimony (ex. the social worker met with the ...
June 20, 2013CD
During divorce, or paternity, the issue of child custody comes up. Which parent (or in some cases a third party known as a de facto custodian, which is discussed in other blog posts), should have custody of the child. But what does “custody” actually mean? Many people may not realize that there are actually two (2) types of custody, physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody involves where the child sleeps the majority of the time (which parent the child is living with primarily and physically with). Legal custody is generally defined as decision-making regarding the main issues of education, medical ...
June 4, 2013CD
In most domestic cases involving children, child custody and child support are two (2) of the key issues in the litigation process. Determining where the child will physically reside (the custodial parent), how the parents will make legal decisions regarding the child (about major life issues, such as religious upbringing), and the amount of support owed by which parent are all common parts of divorce and paternity matters. What happens when child support is not paid? Previous blog posts have examined contempt petitions and even suspension of a parent’s driver’s license for failure to pay child support. In extreme cases, a ...
January 29, 2013CD
Domestic matters are often fraught with complexities, one such major issue being parents’ inability or unwillingness to get along with the other parent. Often, domestic law cases involve extreme emotional issues that can cause communication problems. Compound this with both parents wanting as much time as possible with the child(ren), and it can create a situation where the parents are not often on the best of terms with one another. However, domestic law is truly about the best interests of the child(ren), and the statutes (laws) of Indiana reflect this ultimate goal. When a divorce or paternity case is filed, child ...
November 8, 2012CD
While thankfully not a common occurrence in most domestic disputes and litigation, parents embattled in a custody or divorce dispute have kidnapped their own children and left the state or even country. This is obviously a worst-case scenario for any parent, and there are several laws that cover this devastating matter to prevent the same from occurring. Due to the complexities of these remedies in law, the following three (3) blog posts will focus on the prevention of child kidnapping through state, federal, and international laws. This blog will provide the outline of these methods, which will be explained in more ...
August 16, 2012CD