The family dynamic is something that is always changing, and there is certainly no “standard” or “normal” family. Many may picture a mom, a dad, and a couple of children when thinking of what was called a “nuclear family.” However, the truth is, families, often, do not resemble a nuclear family. Families may consist of same-sex couples, single parents, step-parents, half-siblings, adopted children, aunts, uncles, third-party custodians, or a myriad of other possibilities. On this note, it has become increasingly common for grandparents to play an active role in raising a child while the child’s parents are at work or ...
March 28, 2019CD
Unfortunately, when a couple divorces, all members of the family must adjust to a new dynamic. Despite provisions for parenting time and visitation rights in various statutes, a divorce may disrupt the relationship between children and parents and limit the time they get to spend together. However, with the incidence of divorce being high, and with step-parents playing an ever-increasing role in children’s lives, a step-parent may wonder what rights they may have after they separate from a biological parent of a child. This blog explores some recent Indiana cases on this subject. An important concept: the difference between custody, parenting ...
March 14, 2019CD
Yes, in some cases. Nationally as well as in Indiana, grandparents are increasingly raising their adult children’s children. Sometimes this is just being great and helpful grandparents. In some cases, such as a parent going back to school or distant work relocation, parents must do so to better their lives, but in others, they do so for legally impermissible reasons, such as addiction issues; these parents simply leave their children with grandparents to raise. For all practical purposes, the grandparents take over the role of caregiver and provide all the support, shelter, and care and nurture of the grandchildren. In ...
January 8, 2019CD
Eventually, the “litigation” dust settles for most every acrimonious divorce or paternity fight over custody and the parents remain to co-parent. No longer are there attorneys or judges in the picture. Nevertheless, there is often lingering hostility that may become exacerbated by everything—including a new romantic interest. This dynamic often makes co-parenting what courts describe as a “battleground”. While there are numerous ways to address parenting-time conflicts that take time and cost money—such as contempt’s or parenting coordinators, this blog covers three common sense, but often overlooked ways, to minimize or eliminate some co-parenting conflicts. The first and newest tool available ...
September 26, 2018CD
In the trying time with the loss of a loved one, you may need to determine how to handle the estate of that person. Everyone has heard the term “probate”. But what does this mean? How does this happen? What must be done? Where do you start? Who do you contact or notify? All these are dizzying questions. Estates can be a tricky. This blog covers five basic concepts or questions to be answered to help you understand the process of opening an estate and helping an attorney move it through probate process. The first question is whether the estate is ...
August 22, 2018CD
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 the past. Marriages now are viewed in years ...
August 6, 2018CD
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 parties like grandparents. So, the question becomes, where ...
August 1, 2018CD
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 consider in making a custody decision in the child’s best interests. Are these useful in your case? The first is to ...
June 7, 2018CD
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.
December 19, 2017CD
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 by the parent or parents again. This creates problems with school enrollment to medical care. The ...
December 1, 2017CD