Everyone has heard of a “nightmare” child custody battle. Most other civil cases boil down to money. In some high conflict custody cases, the battle is about custody, joint custody, or additional parenting time beyond what is set forth in the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines. This blog covers what courts consider in deciding physical custody and your options if you receive an unfavorable final order. As a threshold matter, a litigant must understand how the Divorce Act directs judges to analyze and decide child custody in the children’s best interest. Specifically, the judge hearing the evidence is to determine what is ...
Tag: Child Support
November 13, 2020CD
Yes, although that may seem odd. Most of us have signed a contract pretty early in life, such as for a first apartment or car. However, the concept may seem disconnected to marriage and divorce (certainly parties will sign a mortgage or have a credit card that is governed by the terms of the contract, but this has nothing to do specifically with getting married or divorce). That said, contracts play an increasingly important role in getting married and divorced. This blog provides you with the basics of marriage1 and divorce2 contracts. In anticipation of marriage, the parties may enter into ...
October 15, 2020CD
There are several studies and statistical data compilations indicating a growing number of children in the United States are being raised by third parties. These third parties range from grandparents to relatives or sometimes just a friend of a custodial parent. This person may become a “de facto custodian” and seek physical custody. To do so, he or she must establish evidence they have had the infant or toddler and been their primary caregiver and means of financial support for at least six (6) months in cases where the child is less than three years of age.1 This blog addresses ...
September 28, 2020CD
For many couples, divorce is a long, arduous journey. Finally getting the divorce decree marks the end of the road for a broken relationship and opens the door to a world of new possibilities. That said, the actual divorce decree may still leave many legal details to be attended to or a party is placed in substantial risk in the weeks, months, and even years to come. This blog looks at five mistake that are commonly made when a divorce decree is entered—don’t let this be your case. Designation of Beneficiary Status: A designation of a beneficiary is a person named ...
September 23, 2020CD
In Indiana, a child is considered emancipated at the age of 19 by operation of law. Therefore, emancipation eliminates a parent’s duty to pay child support for the child, and in most cases, a parent’s other support obligations to their children terminates at the age of 19. However, there are key exceptions to this rule that are covered in this blog. “By Operation of Statute.” The first thing to know about emancipation is that, in most cases, it occurs “by operation of statute.” To expand, a child’s emancipation is governed by statutory code. Pursuant to the relevant statutory code section, a ...
September 18, 2020CD
After one party files for divorce, what happens next? By statute, sixty (60) days must pass before the court can enter a divorce decree. A divorce is often a complex financial transaction separating the parties’ assets and an emotional one involving child custody and support. Most divorces take at least a few months to finalize. During this time, many parties cannot agree on who will live in the marital residence, how they will share the children, what car each will drive and who will pay what bills. In these cases, typically one party will move the court to set a ...
August 27, 2020CD
Clearly, with COVID-19 and significant changes in the global supply chain currently impacting most businesses, everyone has had their job put at risk to some degree. This is the case even in great economic times. A simple restructuring of a company may cause a job loss. In this case, many parents paying child support simply do not know what to do. Willful failure to pay support is a contemptible action in court. This blog explores the best practices to follow when you lose your job and/or otherwise cannot pay child support. The best way to start to address this problem is ...
June 11, 2020CD
Yes. No. Maybe. In Indiana, child custody is always modifiable, if modification is in the child’s best interests and there is a substantial change in one (1) or more factors1 the court can consider under the initial custody determination statute, namely (1) the age and sex of the child; (2) the wishes of the child’s parent or parents; (3) the wishes of the child, with more consideration given to the child’s wishes if the child is at least fourteen (14) years of age; (4) the interaction and interrelationship of the child with the child’s parent or parents, the child’s siblings, and ...
June 5, 2020CD
In a civil trial with many issues, such as divorce which may have child support, custody, and property issues decided, a losing party may want to challenge every issue, such as a minimal difference or error in weekly child support to be paid. While there is no express appellate rule prohibiting or limiting the number of issues a party may raise on appeal, raising more than three or four issues on appeal is normally not prudent. This blog explores why limiting the number of issues raised on appeal is practical and prudent. As a threshold matter, a party that raises numerous ...
May 29, 2020CD
Most divorce cases, even those involving complex property issues and hotly contested custody matters resolve at mediation. Those that do not often wind up in final hearings that may go over several non-consecutive days over the expanse of weeks or months. After numerous witnesses, arguments over the admission of exhibits, and cross-examination, most litigants cannot wait to get their divorce decree and order so they can start moving on in life. The question is when should you expect it? This answer to this question is, “it depends”. However, in almost all cases, the court will take the matter “under advisement” ...
May 7, 2020CD