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 ...
Tag: child custody modification
July 22, 2020CD
Like everyone and everything in life, the judicial system isn’t perfect. As such, sometimes trial courts get it wrong. If you or someone you know just received a child custody determination that you believe was wrongly decided, you have the ability to seek relief via an appeal. How is this done? How long does it take? In this blog, we look at the general process for appealing a custody order in Indiana. The first thing to consider in the appeal process is the timing of initiating the appeal. Generally speaking, once you receive a final custody order, whether it be an ...
June 17, 2020CD
As a general rule, a party can file for divorce at any time so long as the marriage is irretrievably broken.1 After a divorce is final, a party may move to modify custody at any time but has to show a substantial change in circumstance to prevail. Equally, a party may file a request to modify child support at any time, but evidentiary requirements are different if the support has been modified within a year or after. That said, everyone knows the Coronavirus has crippled most all facets of our society and it impacts the court. This blog explores filing ...
April 13, 2020CD
The short answer is, it depends. Indiana has established a specific statutory code for custody modification that requires the parent moving for custody modification to establish certain facts. Depending on your circumstances, your child’s wishes may be enough to modify your current custody order. In this blog, we provide a brief overview of the requirements a parent must meet to modify their current custody order and whether a child’s wishes can be enough. In order to modify your current custody order, you must establish two things. First, you must show that a modification of custody is in the child’s best interests.1 ...
March 12, 2020CD
The short answer is, yes, using marijuana can cause you to lose custody of your child. However, this is not a simple black and white rule. The ever-changing legality of marijuana use from state to state has caused pause in the Indiana legal landscape. Things such as the recent announcement by Marion County that it will not prosecute simple marijuana possession charges are part of the reason a simple yes or no cannot answer this question. It is important to know that when it comes to making a custody decision in a child’s best interests, judges treat each case as ...
November 8, 2019CD
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
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
While children are resilient and “bounce back”, modifying physical custody from one parent to another parent is a major life factor that may impact the child’s fundamental sense of safety, security, and stability. For this reason, there are two common factual situations where custody modification does not make a strong legal case. The first is where the non-custodial parent’s life has improved, but this has had little impact on how the kids are doing in the custodial parent’s care. Remember, the legal focus for modification is on the children’s best interest. So, for instance, a parent who has achieved long-term sobriety ...
May 22, 2018CD
In divorce or paternity cases, custody evaluations are common. They are provided for in the paternity and divorce statutes, as well as local court rules and discovery rules. A trial court judge has the inherent discretion and power to order a custody evaluation. In simple terms, a custody evaluation is nothing more than a trained professional interviewing the adults and children and reviewing materials they provide to make a written report to the trial court of what is in the children’s best interests. However, there are three things you must know to make the most of a custody evaluation. These ...
March 1, 2018CD
The angst of litigation keeps couples with children together long after they probably should have divorced or sought custody modification. In most cases, this is legally, socially, and psychologically sound. This blog explores the common situations where one spouse becomes addicted to prescription drugs, but the other tries maintaining the status quo, eventually “hurts” the parent—and often the children—who he/she is trying to protect to keep the family intact. The nightly news relays the war on codeine based drugs and the lawsuits against manufacturers. Often times spouses become addicted to these substances by virtue of an injury or surgery and not ...
November 22, 2017CD