In many, if not most contested paternity or divorce cases, the issues that led up to the breakdown in relationship are somewhat apparent and would not require a forensic psychologist evaluation. For instance, one parent may lose his job, and this creates untenable financial stressors on the other parent, or the parent who lost the job may slump into depression. Perhaps most common in marriage today is; marriage is not a necessity as it was a few decades ago—to survive—given social programs that have created safety nets that did not exist in ...
In love, war, divorce and most other major aspects of life and daily living, someone or some side has an actual or perceived advantage. Most fathers in child custody dispute cases recognize that a large part of our society has a general belief that mothers should have custody of their children and believe this is reflected in custody laws—mothers have an advantage because women carry and bear the children of the world. However, many changes are occurring. Now there is gay marriage and adoption and more children are being raised by third ...
In child custody disputes, whether initially made with a divorce or paternity filing, or on with a modification petition, the court decides child-related issues before it by determining what is in the best interests of the child. With most cases, a party seeking custody, as well as the court, want to “hear” from the child in some way. This blog explores the four key ways a child’s voice, views, and positions can be presented to a court for it to ...
The keys to making your best case for obtaining what you want in a divorce trial by focusing on the obvious and basics—but what is rarely ever consciously considered by the parties before or at trial.
Raising Someone Else’s Children A word that has almost vanished from common conversations is the term “nuclear” family. This conjured up the notion of a mother, father, two children (a boy and a girl), family dog, and the proverbial white fence. Now children are routinely shared between same-sex parents, divorced parents or have a single parent. However, there are tens of thousands of children being raised by neighbors, other family members, or a trusted friend of parents. Sometimes the children are abandoned, not supported or contacted ...
September 6, 2017 / Divorce
Most civil cases resolve before court; however, a small percentage go to trial. A first and good impression goes a long way toward building a rapport with the judge. A person who acts like court is a burden to attend and dresses casually--like going to the beach--makes less than a good impression. This blog addresses five key things to do and not to do in court and includes tips from recent observations in our recent trials. First, normal emotion is expected. However, scoffing at ...
June 27, 2017 / Child Custody
Most litigants speak of custody loosely today and take it to mean who has the children, with the other parent getting Indiana Parenting Time Guideline time with the children and paying child support. In other blogs, we have posted materials to differentiate physical custody from legal custody and parenting time. This blog focuses solely on legal custody as more and more parents have differing life views that come into sharp focus and dispute during marriage and paternity cases—and today marriage and having a child is not ...
Let’s face it. There are some parents that just cannot agree on certain issues related to their child, such as extracurricular activities or (legal) discipline of the child. As a result, Indiana has started utilizing a newer method to address co-parenting in these situations. This blog post focuses on parallel parenting, a concept targeted toward parents experiencing consistent conflict due to their inability to agree to virtually anything, sometimes reflective of different life views that led to divorce and, others, the on-going “wounds” from the breakup of the marriage. Parallel ...
Three Key Defenses to Return of Children to Their County of Residence Under The Hague Convention And Other Remedies
March 8, 2017 / Child Kidnapping by Parents
Many countries are signatories to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction1; and the treaty has been ratified between these countries. When this is the case, a child wrongfully removed from his or her country of habitual residence may be subject to proceedings to return proceedings, generally brought in the country where they have been taken. However, while there are always circumstances relevant to removal, a few constitute legal, affirmative defenses that will allow the judicial or ...
While most domestic cases resolve before trial, those that are tried generally involve unique legal issues, or more commonly, extremely contentious issues such as child custody, amount of parenting time or child support (the two are linked), or serious issues about valuation of assets. Indiana judges get a “hot record”, meaning they are given great deference in judging the witness’s credibility. This blog covers four ways to “torpedo” your case by being a witness that lacks credibility. The first is ...