As we all know, “life happens” and circumstances change. That custody order you once had may seem to become impractical as time goes on. Maybe you moved to be closer to your child and now you want more time. Or maybe you were once on hard times but now feel you are able to offer your child more than when the custody order was put in place. Whatever the reason may be, Indiana has established a specific statutory code to deal with the modification of custody. This blog provides a brief overview of the modification of a custody order and ...
November 7, 2019CD
Parents constantly worry about their children. The problem is magnified when the threat of harm to the children comes from your ex (or biological parent) as like you, they too have a fundamental right to raise their children. However, courts treat abuse—particularly physical abuse very seriously— as they are charged with always looking out for the children’s best interests. This blog covers legal tools you may engage to obtain “protection” for you children to key evidence you may need to make your case. Depending on if your divorce case is filed (or paternity has been established), you have different remedies. Perhaps ...
September 24, 2019CD
In most post-divorce cases, there comes a time when a non-custodial parent believes it is “time” to go back to court and move to modify custody. One major mistake parents make is equating the betterment of their life with a substantial change for their children to modify child physical custody. Custody modifications are not uncommon, and presupposing you are not making this mistake, what you need to establish to likely prevail in your modification case is based on three components that are explored in this blog post. Is this your case? The basis. While the advanced age of the children (i.e. ...
September 23, 2019CD
It is common knowledge that addiction to illicit and prescription drugs is at “epidemic” proportions in the United States. Unfortunately, families are not immune from this problem and many divorces are tied to addiction (which may be tied to mental illness diagnoses as well). Many spouses simply do not know how addiction may play into divorce, so they wait or do not file at all until it is too late. This blog covers what you need to know about filing for divorce where addiction is at play. The basis for the divorce. Indiana is a no-fault state so the fact that ...
September 20, 2019CD
With Americans increasingly living and working abroad as we expand to a global workforce, Indiana divorces with international aspects are not uncommon.1 This blog briefly highlights some of the issues you need to know if you are in this situation. Jurisdiction. As long as one of the parties have lived in the state and county for six (6) months, the Court has jurisdiction to entertain a divorce case and it can make a custody award, divide the property, and divorce the parties. So at a basic level, Indiana courts can provide complete relief for the spouse (and children, if there are ...
September 12, 2019CD
A question most every experienced divorce lawyer has been asked is “Can I obtain joint physical custody?” Joint physical custody literally means the children spend equal (or near equal) time with each parent. There are some standard ways this may be accomplished such as parents having the children on a 3-2-2-3 schedule or 5-2-2-5 (days). In some cases, the parents may even go week-on, week-off. This blog explores the current law on (joint) physical custody, how it may be reached and ordered at trial, and problems that may arise with joint physical custody. Ultimately, a court may order joint physical ...
September 4, 2019CD
While custody evaluations performed by child psychologists are somewhat common in contested custody cases, few litigants understand much more than the evaluator makes a report to the court about what custody and parenting time is in the children’s best interests. In this blog, the three (3) major components of a custody evaluation are discussed to help you reduce the stress you may have in undergoing the process, followed by some pointers. Forensic examination. One major component of a custody evaluation is a forensic interview. During this time, the evaluator may inquire into your background from childhood to the present. In addition, ...
August 30, 2019CD
Individuals who find themselves in the middle of a paternity or divorce proceeding understand the emotional struggle that comes along with it. Whether it’s a paternity proceeding to establish custody, or a modification of a prior divorce decree, these types of proceedings never tend to get easier for people. For this reason, and some others, people treat these types of proceedings as a way to “air out dirty laundry” of the other. There are certainly numerous pieces of evidence that are relevant to both paternity and divorce proceedings, and you should share important evidence with your attorney (and likely in ...
August 29, 2019CD
You do not have to be a lawyer to recognize that today’s children are being raised in large numbers by third-parties, ranging from grandparents to relatives to friends and total strangers. Knowing how important stability is to a child’s sense of well-being, many third-parties mistakenly believe that they can just file in court and obtain “custody” since they are raising someone else’s children. However, the United States Supreme Court has determined that natural (and adoptive) parents have one of the oldest and most protected rights—a fundamental right—to raise their children. Thus, a third-party has a legal barrier to overcome in ...
August 27, 2019CD
The trial court’s final order, such as in a divorce case, dividing the property and making a custody award can be enforced immediately. And it usually is. That said, a litigant who does not want an order enforced pending an appeal has two ways to stop its enforcement pending an appeal. In this blog, we cover stays that stop a trial court’s final order from being enforced. As a first step, which seems like a foreign concept to many litigants, they have to ask the court to issue the order to issue a stay. The reason this seems strange is because ...
August 22, 2019CD