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 ...
Tag: child custody modification
Why Parents May Make Tactical Mistakes in Delaying Custody Modification Proceedings When Their Spouse Is Addicted to Prescription Drugs
November 22, 2017 / Custody Modification
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 ...
February 21, 2017 / Custody Modification
Indiana’s elected judges are tasked with the important job of weighing the evidence of the parties’ positions when presented with a custody modification case or contempt of court for a wide range of circumstances, such parenting time interference. In a recent key dissent (from granting transfer [i.e., taking the case by its discretion]), the Indiana Supreme Court1 signaled that when the facts can support but one conclusion—a parent has intentionally interfered with parenting time--such continual interference itself can ...
November 23, 2016 / Custody Modification
Permanency and stability are keys for children; Courts are mindful of this in considering all requests for custody modification in a child’s best interests. For this reasons, Indiana trial courts and attorneys are reluctant to entertain “emergency” motions for child custody modification in all but extraordinary situations because this is incongruous with taking the time to allow the attorneys to develop the evidence and present the case. However, there are four somewhat common situations where a trial court may ...
Stability and continuity of home life for children after divorce is a strong policy found in Indiana’s custody modification statutes and case law. Specifically, a parent who does not have physical custody can file a petition to modify such custody to him or her. However, the non-custodial parent must demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances and it is in the children’s best interests to modify physical custody. Typically, of the eight statutory factors1 a court may consider, general dislike or ...
Most divorce cases resolve before trial. However, a small number proceed to trial or have post-divorce custody modification matters. In either case, there are three ways to undermine the strongest case that are inherent in human nature. This blog explores the matters and demonstrates why they are harmful. Avoid them. First, in original divorce cases, it is easy to make off handed comments or otherwise inappropriate testimony in how to divide assets. Indiana, along with other states, is not based on fault. ...
The General Assembly, trial courts, and Indiana appellate courts all are active in protecting children caught in a divorce or paternity cases and in modification proceedings afterwards. The policy, which is a basic tenet of psychology, is aimed at the disruptive effect of moving children back and forth between divorced parents and to discourage the parents from using child custody proceedings for revenge or because something in their live has changed. To modify physical custody (i.e., where the child spends the majority ...
Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys routinely face questions about the merits and timing of a child custody modification action. In many cases, the facts are not enough to demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances. The respective parent is rightly concerned, but this is legally insufficient. Nevertheless, we observe five (5) times in a child’s life when a parent should consider filing a child custody modification proceeding. This does not mean that each such circumstance ...
Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. advocates sometimes represent clients who believe a child, their child, is not having his or her voice heard in the “white noise” of a acrimonious divorce proceeding. Nevertheless, there are a number of legal methods by which an attorney and client may aid the judge in ensuring the child’s best interests are heard and met. This is after all a key focus of trial courts. Some of ...
As domestic advocates, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys frequently are consulted and accept child custody modification cases. In order to modify physical custody, the moving parent must show there has been a substantial change in the child’s environment and the modification is in the child’s best interests. We find most post-divorce child custody modification cases fall within three (3) categories. The first is where a party is still re-litigating the past. The statutory rule nevertheless prohibits a trial court from hearing evidence ...