The answer is, “It depends”. Under the laws covering children born to unwed parents, a father may legally acknowledge he is the child’s biological father. This is done by the parents entering into (filling out and signing) a Hospital Paternity Affidavit at the hospital soon after the child’s birth. This ensures the father participates in naming the child and his name appears on the child’s birth certificate. This blog covers what custody rights a father has upon entry of the Hospital Paternity Affidavit and what a putative (potential) father should consider if he is unsure whether he is indeed the father ...
Tag: court order
August 9, 2018CD
In divorce and paternity cases, there are numerous state and federal laws requiring parents to pay child support for their children, and about as many laws for enforcement of court- order support obligations. In fact, failure to pay child support may cause legal penalties against you, ranging from losing a professional license to being found in contempt of court and ordered to jail. This blog covers four simple ways to avoid a child support arrearage and its legal consequences. First, some parents pay child support directly to the other parent. This is always a mistake. Child support not paid through the ...
December 28, 2017CD
The Indiana Department of Child Services (“DCS”) is tasked with investigating thousands of reports of abuse or neglect of children each year. This agency is literally the protector of children from certain parents. However, perhaps the oldest and most fundamental of constitutional rights is to raise one’s children as he or she sees fits, despite what the state may think otherwise or would do differently. While DCS has a legal duty to investigate each and every claim in a certain way set forth by statute, including interviewing the child alleged to be in need, this duty does not trump the above-noted ...
June 1, 2017Adam Hayes
Indiana is fortunate to have an intermediate court, the Indiana Court of Appeals, where final judgments from Indiana’s trial courts may be taken as a matter of right for most of the tens of thousands of cases decided each year. This blog post focuses on the ways this Court may decide and rule on an appeal. In the broadest terms, there are two primary “options” the Court of Appeals may rule, labeled: “Affirmed” or “Reversed”. Affirming a trial court order agrees the trial court made a sound order that stands. Reversing a trial court order means the order is in some ...
March 20, 2017Adam Hayes
Most parents, judges, and domestic attorneys view hearings and custody modifications or contempt filings as a last resort, not the first way to resolve a dispute. However, the conflict of divorce or post-divorce matters often obscures some of the legal and non-legal methods parents may resolve disputes about parenting time outside of court. The first and relatively newer type of tool is a parenting coordinator. There are different levels of authority a “PC” may have. These range from just trying to broker an agreement in real time as they arise to making (in more contentious cases) a binding decision until the ...
June 8, 2016Adam Hayes
The Holiday Season is a time of joy and stress for everyone. This is particularly the case for parents who have children from divorce or paternity with child exchanges. Holiday time is magical for children and there is a finite amount of this holiday time. Both parents want their time. However, the legal system cannot get back this time by a subsequent legal proceeding, so try to avoid unnecessary conflict. Sometimes there is no ability to resolve any and all issues and a court action for contempt or modification is merely reflected and magnified by holiday parenting disputes. However, if the ...
December 15, 2015Adam Hayes
Indiana’s trial court judges, commissioners, magistrates and protems are dedicated to justice. The unique aspect to their job is they must decide a dispute between two or more people or parties—many other aspects of personal and professional life involves winning to some degree. For this reason, it is sometimes difficult for a party to accept “losing.” And many people just react with the desire to challenge any and every adverse final1 ruling. However, there at least five considerations or options you have, any or all of which may factor into your decision: Cease litigation. Apply a law and economics approach. Look at the policy ...
May 19, 2015Adam Hayes
Protective Orders, or POs, are a civil lawsuit used to protect a victim against a harasser or stalker. POs are in the nature of injunctive relief. Essentially, it is a court order prohibiting certain behavior of the harasser or stalker, towards the victim. A PO is NOT a No Contact Order. Popular portrayal in movies and TV shows often indicate that a Protective Order requires someone to stay at least so many feet or yards away from the victim. However, in Indiana, this is not true. Protective Orders can be tailored to the facts and circumstances of the parties involved, ...
December 9, 2014CD
All final orders of Indiana trial courts are appealable by right, meaning that the Court of Appeals must review the merits of your appeal and issue a Decision.1 The Supreme Court (of Indiana or the United States) has discretionary review of most types of cases (there are some that the Supreme Court must review, mostly related to criminal matters), and thus the review by the Supreme Court of a Court of Appeals opinion is by permission of the Supreme Court.2 So you have decided to appeal an unfavorable trial court order, what happens while you wait for a decision from the ...
November 6, 2014CD
There are a variety of cases involving child custody matters, including third party custody, de facto custodian custody, guardianships (and termination of guardianship), divorce, post divorce modification, relocation of a parent, and paternity. In fact, many of these types of cases can overlap and include more than one type. For example a post divorce decree custody modification can be as a result of the custodial parent relocating. In many cases where custody, or even parenting time, is contested, the court and attorneys may utilize one of several types of evaluations to help provide the court with insight into the matter. The ...
October 21, 2014CD